Kip Hughes, a 27-year-old race car driver, didn't have to stop racing on Saturday night to pull a rival driver out of a burning car at the Stock Car Nationals in Ada, Okla.
But he couldn't help himself. He'd resolved never to stand by -- or drive by -- if he witnessed such a wreck.
This was the fourth time he'd witnessed a fire like that at a race, one of which left his father badly burned in 1991, he said in an interview with CNN.
VIDEO OF DRAMATIC RESCUE AT TOP
“I don’t want that to ever happen again for anybody,” Hughes told the Ada News. “Whether I’m battling it out with them on the race track and we’re exchanging (gestures) or whatever else, it’s a horrible deal for a family to go through.”
According to KFOR-TV, driver Terry Muskratt became trapped in his burning car after being involved in a multiple-car crash. When Hughes saw the flames, he stopped racing to help get Muskratt to safety, tearing away the protective window net and pulling Muskratt from the car.
"The adrenaline's going and I'm just thinking, 'I gotta get this guy out before something bad happens,"' he told CNN.
Hughes was the event's defending champion, having won the race in 2010, Yahoo! Sports reports.
According to KFOR-TV, Hughes' father had his lips and nose burned off in the fire in 1991. "I always said if something like that happens I'm not going to be the guy hanging back because I was seven in the stands with my mother watching this stuff unfold with my dad," Hughes told the TV station. So I always just kind of told myself if something like that happens again, I don't think. I just go and do whatever I can."
The Ada News reports that Muskratt's hand was burned and he said his lower back hurt after the crash. Hughes was not injured.