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Media notes: Lindsay sprint car racer Harli White to be featured Sunday on ESPN's “SportsCenter”

As a 12-year-old, White was badly burned in an accident at I-44 Riverside Speedway in southwest Oklahoma City, but she recovered to race again.
Oklahoman Modified: March 27, 2014 at 5:43 pm •  Published: March 27, 2014

Lindsay sprint car racer Harli White will be featured in a segment on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” that will debut at 9 a.m. Sunday and air throughout the day. When she was 12, White was badly burned in an accident at I-44 Riverside Speedway in southwest Oklahoma City, but she returned to racing after recovering and continues to race today as she approaches her 19th birthday.

The segment, “Forged Through Fire,” was produced by Miriam Greenfield last fall at Outlaw Motorsports Park in Muskogee.

In 2008, driving in the first mini-sprint car race, White’s car turned over and burst into flames as she was trapped inside. Another driver, Donnie Ray Crawford, left his car and ran across the track. Crawford reached into the flames and pulled the badly burned girl out. Reporter Tom Rinaldi tells the story of White’s remarkable recovery, her unrelenting determination to race again and her enduring bond with the man who saved her life — a young driver whose own life would end in tragedy.

Recalling the accident that nearly took her life, White said, “I basically gave up. I prayed to God, is this my time to go? And if it is, take me now.”

On her desire to return to racing Charlie White, her father, said: “I said, ‘There’s no possible way that you’re ever going to race again.’ She says, ‘Yes I can.’ She says, ‘I’ll get better. I’ll get my arm to moving and I’ll get my neck fixed, and I will get better, and I will race again,’”

Last summer, White became the first female to win an Oil Capital Racing Series championship.


ESPN, Inc., led the way with 46 Sports Emmy Award nominations across its platforms (ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, and, followed by Fox with 18 and HBO 15. Bob Costas was nominated twice for outstanding sports personality, in play-by-play and studio host categories.

The top sports personality categories:

Studio Host: James Brown (CBS/Showtime), David Feherty (Golf Channel), Greg Gumbel (CBS), Dan Patrick (NBC, NBCSN, DirecTV), Costas (NBC).

Play-by-Play: Marv Albert (TNT), Mike Breen (ABC, ESPN), Joe Buck (Fox), Mike Emrick (NBC, NBCSN), Bob Costas (MLB Network).

Studio Analyst: Cris Collinsworth (Showtime), Al Leiter (MLB Network), Rick Neuheisel (Pac-12 Network), Harold Reynolds (MLB Network, Fox), Michael Strahan (Fox), Tom Verducci (TBS, MLB Network).

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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