LUCAMA, NC – Robert Arch's road to recovery following a 2014 injury has been a long road but on Saturday night, Arch will make his return in his Charger car at Southern National Motorsports Park.
Arch, now 25, won the championship in the Charger division in 2013, scoring multiple wins in the regular season as well as victory in the Charger feature at the Thanksgiving Classic. However, on June 11, 2014, Arch's racing career came to a pause when he was injured in a workplace accident.
“I was working in a shop, my every day job, I work on lifts,” Arch said. “That's what I was doing. The lock on the lift broke and the life fell down and crushed me. My right hand was broke. There were 15 or 16 fractures in my hand and four or five fractures in my wrists. I got 20 pins and screws in my hand, two plates and three pins.”
Following the injury, Arch had a long road to recovery with multiple surgeries and physical rehabilitation.
“I've had four surgeries since I got hurt. I've been in physical therapy two to three days a week since lasty August. I've been in and out of the doctor's office. My hand's not 100 percent by any means but it's good enough that I can win some races.”
Arch's most recent race, prior to the injury that sidelined him, was on May 10, 2014 in a Charger race at Southern National Motorsports Park. That injury has not kept him away from the track, however. He has still been very active at the track, whether it's helping out Bradley McCaskill or being the crew chief for the car he will race in on Saturday.
“We shouldn't have any issues,” Arch remarked. “We'll be competitive. I've been fielding the car while I've been hurt. We've won every race at [Wake County Speedway] this year with me crew chiefing it. I know the car's there. As long as I haven't forgotten how to hold the steeling wheel, I should be decent. I should be able to give those guys a run for their money.”
Now that he's back, the fire is in his eyes. He has always been determined to win but now he is even more determined to complete the comeback, Kyle Busch style.
“Any time we race, it's trophy or steering wheel,” Arch explained. “I don't like losing. That's the only thing that's been on my mind since June 11, 2014 is when I can go back racing. That's my ultimate goal is to put it back in victory lane. That would be a dream come true. You couldn't write a prettier script if I came back and won.”
Arch is one of the most competitive drivers in racing. He often calls himself a “sore loser” and, in his own words, he's not happy if he's not winning races.
“I won't make a living racing, I do it for fun but I only have fun if I'm winning,” Arch said. “I'm the sorest loser you'll ever meet. I beat down on myself if I don't win. Those guys are good, we'll have some stiff competition to show up and beat them first time out. You never know what's going to happen. We should have a competitive piece when we unload.”
Arch's return comes in the championship finale where he will race against Michael O'Brien and Paul Williamson who find themselves battling each other for a championship with the two separated by two points. Williamson has one win on the season and will certainly have his work cut out if he wants to score win number two trying to beat Williamson. He trails O'Brien, who has four wins on the season and hopes to add number five.
Prior to racing in Chargers and Late Models, Arch raced in U-CARs on dirt and asphalt and has around 50 career feature wins to his credit. Arch's 2013 championship triumph came against Haley Moody, who won the 2014 Limited Late Model championship at Southern National, and Late Model racer Ronald Renfrow. Renfrow will also be making his Southern National return on Saturday night in the Late Model feature. The race will be Renfrow's first since July 11th.
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