Welding class helped save this racer's life - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Welding class helped save this racer's life

August 13, 2007

Doerun -- Lupe Alonzo has been pure-stock racing for about nine years and got into the hobby to beat the odds. "It was something that they tell me that I couldn't do. And it was something that I always wanted to do. I've always wished it, always dreamed it and I did it," said Alonzo.

But he didn't know that beating the odds in his racing career included cheating death on the track. "I'm alive and I am here for my kids and that's the most important thing," said Alonzo.

Two weeks ago Lupe raced on the Southwest Georgia Motor Speed park in Cecil, Georgia. During the fourth lap, another driver clipped his Monte Carlo knocking him straight into the wall.

"I don't remember much, I don't remember much, but I do remember saying Lord, I don't want to die like this," said Alonzo. 

It was the roll cage that helped save his life. A roll cage he learned to attach will attending Moultrie Technical College for two years. "Everything that they taught me, it all stayed intact. It didn't move. It didn't budge," said Alonzo. "And in the driver compartment, everything is there. Nothing moved or buckled. I mean it saved me."

He originally took the welding course to improve his skills at the Mobley Gin Company, but those skills went a lot further. "When you hit that wall and you are pushing 100 miles an hour, and it comes out like this; you've done something. They have taught you something in school," said Alonzo.

Those skills Alonzo learned that he says is the reason he is here today. Lupe Alonzo says he has now decided to no longer race. His injuries include: a broken tail bone, a broken toe and a minor neck injury.

feedback: news@walb.com?Subject=WeldingSkill/DR