When the morning spin is finished, he says with a laugh, "I was a little conservative today. The scabs on my back just cleared up from the last time I was out here. I got a little carried away doing a wheelie and flipped. I got dragged on my back for about 40 feet. My back was a mess." He laughs again, shakes his head and says, "As I was being dragged along, all I could think of was Evel Knievel."
Evel Knievel? What about fear?
"Naw," says Yount. "Pain, yes. Embarrassment, yes. Fear, no. I knew I'd be O.K. It was just a roll in the dirt."
Yount has been in any number of crashes in all varieties of vehicles. If you are a Brewers executive paying him $3 million a year to play baseball, these are stories you do not want to hear.
Crash Story No. 1: The Car. "A couple of years ago I had just bought a new race car, a Sports 2000," Yount says. "One of the first times I raced it, I took a corner wrong at about 120 and flipped. As I was lying there upside down, I thought, This must not be for me. A brand new car, and look what I did to it."
Nevertheless, this past winter he entered a few races. "The circuit for my class [Pro Sports 2000 series] happens mostly at the same time as the baseball season, so most of my races are just club events," he says. "Two years ago I raced the last event of the circuit, in Memphis. I finished 12th in a field of 36. I even got a check for $202." (If the race results had made the AP wire, and the Milwaukee morning papers, Selig might have gagged on his breakfast.)
Crash Story No. 2: The go-kart. "I was in a go-kart race in February," Yount says, "and some guy rear-ended me so hard he went right over my back, and his car landed on top of me. It looked really funny."
A few weeks later, at the Firebird International Raceway south of Phoenix, Yount finished fourth in a two-day go-kart race. The qualifying heat was 30 minutes around the track at speeds reaching 80 mph. "He was all-out crazy on the second day," says Britt Lachemann, his racing companion. "In one race he was sandwiched between two other cars at top speed for almost 15 minutes." The three drivers who finished ahead of Yount were later disqualified, making Yount the winner. (Selig was again spared the happy news of Yount's victory: He was busy in New York that afternoon, the day the baseball lockout was settled.)
Crash Story No. 3: The Golf Cart. "I accidently flipped a couple of the kids out of a cart while going too fast down the first hole at Desert Mountain," Yount says. Some of the cart paths at Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale are not unlike the road down Pikes Peak. "It's a fun course," says Yount. (Selig probably figures golf is one of Yount's safer pursuits.)
Crash (Almost) Story No. 4: The Lawn Mower. Brewers catcher B.J. Surhoff once brought two Seattle Mariners to Yount's house outside of Milwaukee. They found Yount cutting the lawn on his sit-down mower, whipping around the yard at remarkable speed. He'd souped up the mower's engine, creating a hot rod with blades. (Selig will be relieved to know that Yount hasn't actually crashed the mower—yet.)