Rocky driver's terrifying high-speed crash
SPEEDWAY: "Everything goes in slow motion. It's dead quiet until you stop rolling and then you can actually hear something and comprehend what's happened."
That is how Chris Annison summed up the dramatic moments when his street stocker crashed at about 90kmh into the concrete wall at Sunday night's speedway meeting in Rockhampton.
The Rockhampton driver walked away unscathed from the accident, crediting the extensive safety system in the car for that.
Chris, 28, had raced well on the opening night of the two-night Easter meeting on Saturday, qualifying third for the feature and finishing second.
Understandably, he was feeling confident heading into Sunday night's program and looked to be on track for more success when the incident unfolded.
"We were three laps in and having a good outside run. I came into the far corner and I can't say exactly what happened... then I was head-first into the wall and the car rolled one and a half times.
"It's a very hard feeling to explain. It all happened so quickly and it's something that's out of your control.
"There's a lot of heartbreak and a lot of disappointment because you invest a lot of time and money in the sport."
Chris's partner Natasha and their three-year-old daughter arrived at the track just as the crash happened.
"My little girl was terrified," he said. "It's not the best thing for family and friends and spectators to see, but these things happen.
"I guess as a driver you always have that in the back of your mind. It does spook you a little but I think the best thing you can do is take the positives from it and come back bigger and stronger."
That is exactly what Chris intends to do.
He sold the car involved in the crash the day after the meeting, as it had suffered only cosmetic damage, and bought an upgraded model.
"It was time to move on to something bigger and newer. I'm staying in the same class, just going to a newer model car," he said.
"I've got the new car and we will concentrate on the rebuild stage of that now. I will put all my running gear into the new car. That will take some time, I will probably be out for six months while we do that."
Chris has been involved in speedway since he was 11 and got his first race car when he was 17.
The only other accident he was involved in was about nine years ago when he was a passenger in the car.
He said the weekend crash would not deter him from racing and with the support of the Thomas family and sponsors Grizzly's Towing and Freight, Greensteel Rockhampton, JRI Industries and Arnold's Advanced Tyres is looking to contest both the state and Australian titles next year.
"My father got me into speedway and once it's in your blood, it's in your blood," he said.
"It takes a lot of dedication, commitment and passion and if you've got that you will go a long way in the sport.
"You also need an understanding and supportive family who allows you to do what you have to do.
"My main game is to turn out a professional race car and attend as many blue-ribbon events as possible."