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ALMS fueler's condition upgraded from critical to serious

7/22/2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- A fueler for De Ferran Motorsports was transferred to a burn center Tuesday and his condition was upgraded from critical to serious.

Keith Jones was injured in a pit fire during the American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, just the second event for the newly formed team headed by former Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran.

De Ferran, who came out of a two-year retirement, won the pole and started the race, but teammate Simon Pagenaud was at the wheel when the team's Acura ARX-01B pulled away from the pit with the hose still attached to the car, igniting the fuel.

Safety workers quickly put out the fire, but Jones, wearing a helmet and fire-retardant clothing, was briefly caught in the flames. He was taken by helicopter to The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus with unspecified burns.

Jones, 49, was transferred Tuesday to the Fairbanks Burn Center at Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis.