A dirt track race rescue team from KELOLAND is getting national attention. Racer Tony Stewart claims they saved him after he broke his leg. The Med-Star team, based out of Brandon, came to Stewart's aid after a crash last August in Iowa.
When Stewart broke his leg in the wreck the story made national headlines. Part of that story had to do with the work of a volunteer race rescue team and how they treated Stewart's serious injuries.
"We've been doing this a long time and help a lot of people. You don't always get the recognition. Obviously, that's not why we do it. We love dirt track racing and we love helping people. That's why we do it," Mike Schmitz said.
Schmitz is just one of several race rescue volunteers. Stewart has recently opened up about their help that day and it's gaining the crew and director Jay Masur a lot of attention. From quotes in Sports Illustrated to an interview on the Dan Patrick Show, Stewart's gratitude is on full display.
"The safety team that was there was from Huset's Speedway and Jay Masur was the paramedic that pulled me out of the car and basically saved my leg and my life," Stewart said on The Dan Patrick Show.
While Med-Star Dirt Track Race Rescue is getting national attention, their work is also leading to an increase in safety awareness in dirt track racing.
"People pay attention to him and he's made it a mission now to make this safer for everybody. We're just going to be a part of his team doing that," Masur said.
Stewart is now a sponsor of Med-Star Race Rescue and the crew is spending more time talking about safety measures drivers and other rescuers can use outside of the KELOLAND region.
"Now we get to take it across the country and we get to make a difference across the country because of Tony Stewart," Masur said.
As part of Stewart's sponsorship of Med-Star Race Rescue, the popular driver has purchased all sorts of gear for the team including special helmets, used for better communication between volunteers.