A race car driver was airlifted to Albany Medical Center Sunday afternoon after his engine explodes in the pit area of Lebanon Valley Speedway in Columbia County.

Lebanon Valley Speedway track manager Wayne DelMonte says it happened early Sunday afternoon around 1 p.m. as Jose Santana of East Hartford, CT was tuning up his 1985 Mazda RX7 before a race. Santana suffered severe injuries to his right eye and right arm along with burns on his upper extremities and is listed in critical condition, investigators said.

The car was was to be entered in a race later in the day and it happened away from the track in a parking area while it was running, according to the State Police. Chatham Rescue, Valatie Rescue and Lebanon Valley Fire Department all assisted at the scene. Four other patients refused medical assistance.