Car hits raceway official

05/27/2010 12:00 AM |

A NASCAR official at Riverhead Raceway was hit by a car there Saturday night and suffered two broken legs and a dislocated shoulder, according to a raceway spokesman.

Mike Cappiello, 62, of Glen Cove is the track’s co-chief steward, who helps run the races. He was on the infield during preliminary laps of Saturday’s Modified race when a car driven by Steve Booker spun out of control and struck him.

Mr. Booker’s car had either a carburetor issue or a stuck throttle during the hot laps, which snapped his car into the infield, where he struck Mr. Cappiello, according to a release from Raceway announcer and spokesman Bob Finan.

Mr. Cappiello was first taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead by Trans Care Medical Ambulance, the track’s on-site ambulance, and was later transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital, according to Mr. Finan.

Mr. Cappiello suffered a compound fracture of his lower left leg, which required surgery early Sunday morning. He also suffered a broken right leg, a dislocated shoulder and a broken rib, according to Mr. Finan.

“Mike never lost consciousness — or his sense of humor,” Mr. Finan said. “Mike actually quipped with those on scene that he’d have to cancel some golf outings he had lined up for the next few weeks.”

After a short stint in the intensive care unit, Mr. Cappiello was moved to a regular room Monday morning, raceway officials said. He is expected to undergo a second surgery to repair some muscle damage in his left leg.