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Driver recovering following wreck at Carteret County Speedway

Jonathan Payne's race car (Merrilee Moore/NewsChannel 12)

SWANSBORO, Carteret County - A race car driver competing at the Carteret County Speedway had to be cut out of his car following a crash at a feature race Wednesday night, according to officials at the Carteret County Speedway.

Driver Jonathan Payne was taken to a hospital in Hanover following the crash on lap 13, according to Carteret County Speedway media relations director Andy Marquis. He had to be cut out of his car by emergency officials at the race track.

The crash happened at the UCAR Feature Race.

Payne suffered a bruised rib, a concussion, multiple cuts and bruises and will need several weeks to fully heal.

Payne said the crash could have been ever worse had he not make a quick maneuver to turn his car into a wall rather than striking another driver.

"As I got angled in the three (turn) I saw the (No.) 99 turned sideways - that's a silver Celica that races out here," Payne said. "He was sideways in the track (with) his driver's side facing me."

The disabled Army veteran races as a means of taking his mind off his daily struggles with anxiety and PTSD. He does so despite hearing from doctors they thought he had no chance to be able to race.

"This is my avenue," he said. "I don't take medications from the VA. They give me medication all day long... I don't like it. This is my medication right here."

He's paid all of his expenses out of pocket, and with the damage to his race car on Wednesday, Payne must now cobble together roughly $3,000 for the repairs needed to get himself back on the track.

"I'm not gonna give up. I'm gonna find a way to find a sponsor or something," he said. "I'm gonna get me a car, get me a fire suit and we're definitely gonna try to come back racing."

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