Muldowney injured in Canada race accident

Reprinted from the July 13, 1984 issue of National DRAGSTER

MONTREAL, Quebec Shirley Muldowney, one of drag racing's best known drivers, was reported in "very stable" condition at Montreal General Hospital Tuesday, four days after she was injured in a qualifying crash at Sanair International Drag Strip.

Muldowney, 44, received three fractures of the right leg, torn cartilage in the left knee, extensive fractures of both ankles, a broken right thumb and cracked pelvis in the accident which destroyed her Pioneer Stereo dragster.

Muldowney had just completed a qualifying attempt during the 14th annual Molson Grandnational, running 5.77 seconds at 247.25 mph, when a mechanical failure caused her car to veer sharply off the left of the track.

She was taken to Montreal General Hospital where she underwent six hours of surgery Friday night to cleanse the injuries. Doctors performed another hour of surgery on Sunday to make sure the injuries were clean.

Dr. Larry Cohochie said the three-time NHRA Top Fuel World Champion was "in very stable condition". He added that Muldowney's legs had been set in a stationary position and that skin grafts were to take place at the end of this week.

Muldowney was moved from intensive care facilities into a private room on July 3, but she is unable to receive flowers in the room.

"I want to thank the drag racing community from around the world for their thoughts and prayers," she said.

Dr. Cohochie expects Muldowney to remain in Montreal General for another five to seven weeks.

Montreal General Hospital provided Steve Earwood, NHRA Media Raleations Director, with a makeshift press room so he could answer the many calls from media, racers and fans.

"We had well over 300 calls Saturday through Monday," Earwood said. "The calls from racers sounded like the entry list for the U.S. Nationals. Everyone is concerned about Shirley."

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