Rob Kubli Returns After Nasty Crash
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Rob Kubli Returns After Nasty Crash
by Joanne Cram
One of this year’s most spectacular crashes found Rob Kubli sitting out until he was cleared by doctors to get behind his 410 Parker Engines powered J & J again. In a race season that has brought fans fast, excellently prepared race tracks, luckily there have only been a handful of violent crashes.
July 6th, Rob was rolling into turn three when the rear axle broke on the left side. He recalls backing into the fence, then proceeding to get upside down. The car started violently flipping backwards and came down hard for one last hit on the bare frame side. The jolt of the final tumble drilled Kubli down in the seat, sending instant sharp pains shooting up his spine. “It felt like my spine was being ripped out”, Kubli recalled. Luckily, the Knoxville Raceway Fire and Rescue Crew were to Kubli’s crash within seconds of the car coming to a rest. Kubli was unable to get out of the car, and the safety crew was trying to figure out the best way to extract Rob without doing any further potential damage to his injuries. Once the crew determined that Kubli’s vitals were stable; he had feeling in his feet, hands, and his eyes were checked to be sure they weren’t dilated, the rescue crew allowed Kubli to climb out. As Rob sat in the car being checked over, the pain increased to a point where it was no longer tolerable and he knew he had to get himself out of the car. The rescue crew insisted he take a ride in the ambulance, so Kubli complied and sped away to the hospital where initially, they determined his x-rays to show no signs of trauma.
The next morning, Kubli was in excruciating pain, so he admitted himself to the emergency room nearest his Milo home. After further assessment, it was determined that Kubli had a compound fracture in his T3 and a compression fracture in the T4 vertebrae, trauma between both discs, as well as torn tendons along the side of his spine. The tear can be compared to a torn ACL; the only way to heal is down time and no further trauma to the area. Kubli has seen neurologists and specialists, and will be undergoing weekly scans to check for healing. A major milestone was meeting with the specialist on August 6th to determine what his race future held. Rob was able to come back and compete at the “Capitani Classic” and the Knoxville Nationals.
At this point, Kubli feels a constant pain, similar to a constant dull headache. He originally thought he would miss racing in this year’s Nationals, but he made it back. After meeting with doctors, Rob was told that the vertebrae are fusing themselves back together and the tear has started to repair itself. The downfall to that positive news though, is that there is a lot of strength to be rebuilt. With the help of physical therapy sessions, Kubli made his goal of competing at the “Capitani Classic” and the Nationals.
As for his personal life, Rob was cleared to get back to work after nearly four weeks off. The KRCO has been enormously helpful; a check to cover some living expenses, insurance bought for the drivers has helped with medical expenses, and so many of the KRCO members checking in on Rob’s progress- all of this has helped take his mind off the worry that comes with a debilitating accident that literally stops your day-to-day living in its tracks.
Rob is thankful to all the fans, Knoxville Raceway crew, drivers, and other friends who continue to support his healing process. It’s great to see him back behind the wheel of the 23K!