On April 13, 1985, Lindley was competing in an All Pro Super Series race held at the Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Florida, driving Frankie Grill's No. 15 Chevrolet Camaro. He was leading after the 125-lap distance was complete, but the scheduled distance included a late caution flag, and All Pro rules stated that the final five laps of its races had to finish consecutively under the green flag, so the race continued. During the extra laps, a trailing arm on Lindley's car pulled apart as he entered turn three, sending the car into a spin that caused the driver's side to hit the wall. Lindley's helmet made hard contact with the wall, and he sustained a closed head injury. His crash was one of the factors that led to improvements in window nets, helmets, and head and neck restraints, which have dramatically reduced the number of injuries and deaths resulting from race car crashes
GREER, S.C. — Clyde (Butch) Lindley, a two-year NASCAR sportsman and 1984 champion of the All-Pro Circuit, died after being in a five-year coma resulting from a racing accident. He was 43. Lindley, who never regained consciousness after the April 13, 1985 crash at DeSoto Speedway in Bradenton, Fla., died of natural causes Wednesday at the Greer Lutheran Health Center.
The crash severed Lindley’s brain stem, and he underwent treatments without success at a facility for comatose patients in Richmond, Va.
He emerged in the 1970s as one of the nation’s top Late Model Sportsman drivers.
Lindley had up 550 victories and was the All-Pro circuit’s winningest career driver at the time of his accident. He was NASCAR’s sportsman--now known as the Busch Grand National series--in 1977 and 1978.