News & Media


RCR tire changer injured in fire returns

June 13, 2015, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Anthony O'Brien back to Brendan Gaughan's pits after Richmond incident

RELATED: Adapting, reacting to new pit road safety measures

Anthony O'Brien, rear tire changer for the No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Brendan Gaughan in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, is back to work today at Michigan after recovering from injuries sustained in a pit road fire at Rhichmond International Raceway.

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O'Brien, RCR gasman Josh Wittman and Clifford "Doc" Turner, the gas runner for Eric McClure's No. 24 team, were all transported to the hospital after flames flashed across two pit stalls during the ToyotaCare 250 on April 24.

The fire was caused by a malfunction on the head of the gas can, which prevented the nozzle from sealing flush with the No. 62 car. O'Brien was changing the left rear tire right under the fuel nozzle when the fire erupted. He was hospitalized until the Monday following the race, April 27.

The fire prompted NASCAR to institute new rules requiring over-the-wall pit crew members to wear gear that affords more protection in the event of a fire. Teams began instituting the new head socks and other gear at Pocono and Texas last weekend.

Gaughan tweeted the good news Saturday about O'Brien's return to pit road.