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A reminder about the danger of Drag racing

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I posted this on my build of my '90 foxbody street car in dragracing models and I thought it would be fitting to post it here as well. This happens right before I go pick up my new vega panel tube chassis car....

Last night's racing was horrible. The outside temp was about 106 degrees and the track temp was over 120. At that point all the rubber on the track makes it greasy and real slick where even the super gas dragsters doing 300 foot burnouts couldn't get down the track. The race was one my local track Champion Raceway holds every year called the "night of fire." The useless jet dragsters come out, fuel altered come out, and many racers from other areas in division 6 come out for the chance to win a wally. Finally around 8:00 the air was getting better, the track temp dropped, and some good racing was starting to happen. At about 9:30 right as the sun set, two fuel altereds lined up. In the right lane, the best tranny guy in southern Oregon, the Dave Hicks high tech transmission car driven by someone else, and the high heaven fuel altered in the left lane. The High Heaven altered had the original chassis, body, and wing from 1974. When it was restored, everything was painted like one of the original schemes and a similar truck tall deck 427 BBC was used with all new aftermarket internals and a new littlefield 6-71 and an enderle hat like the original.

I decided to video tape the run and what happened next was both spectacular and horrid, I'm not sure which comes first. The High heaven car launched and took a right turn for a date with the other car or the wall. luckily, the High tech transmission car hooked and got out of there. High heaven hit the wall and blew the whole front end out of it, the car slid around and the throttle stuck with it heading back towards the starting line where the crew, starter, racers and more were standing. After hitting who knows maybe 12000 Rpm's the big block grenaded which was actually a good thing.

Here's the video I shot and posted to youtube, I hope the link works

http://youtu.be/XEbnMu8YIkQ

I got yelled at by the crew for trying to take pictures of the aftermath in the pits (which was really stupid because we're all dragracers who love the sport and want to see the aftermath of when some thing goes wrong) heres one I managed to get, it isn't very good because of the glare but you you can see how bent the chassis is and the whole supercharger itself is broken from the explosion, the only thing that kept it on the car was the safety straps

374BB6EC-090C-471E-AAC9-F76C60DDFDF3_zps

Edited by Dragfreak

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Posted · Report post

How was the driver of the car? If he didn't get hurt, which I suspect and hope, I found the video kind of cool. And sorry to say this, but things like this are going to happen from time to time. Doing somethings involves risk. Sometimes even to ones life. But, that sometimes also what makes things worth doing.

Scott

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Yes the driver was okay, it wasn't as bad as it appears, he hopped out just fine. It was cool to watch but I do feel bad for that guy knowing how much work he went through to restore the original car from 1974 to update it and put it back on the track to lose everything. This is the danger in the sport I love, drag racing is unpredictable but that's the part that makes it fun

Edited by Dragfreak

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On 4th of July in the Chicagoland area at the famous Duke's Drive In there was supposedly a Camaro and a silver car racing on Harlem Ave. The driver of the Camaro lost control 'bout 90mph and hit a pickup truck head on. I heard the driver and two passengers in the Camaro were killed along with the driver of the truck. Com' on guys, this isn't the 60's anymore, it's a LOT different nowadays.

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Posted · Report post

On 4th of July in the Chicagoland area at the famous Duke's Drive In there was supposedly a Camaro and a silver car racing on Harlem Ave. The driver of the Camaro lost control 'bout 90mph and hit a pickup truck head on. I heard the driver and two passengers in the Camaro were killed along with the driver of the truck. Com' on guys, this isn't the 60's anymore, it's a LOT different nowadays.

That's sad, if people are going to street race, they need to find a nice wide road with plenty of shoulder where there is almost no traffic to do it

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With the increase of vehicles on the road today and the number of drivers in those vehicles preoccupied, it's not safe to street race anymore, no matter how many Fast & Furious movies you've seen. Back in the 60's we didn't have cell phones, iPhones, iPads, GPS,or video screens, etc. We did have MAP and it still works today. Ideally one must look at the map BEFORE getting into the vehicle and driving to their destination.

Even if you did find a road with almost no traffic, I've heard of people letting their 1 1/2 year olds wander outside and into the streets. Then what are you going to do? How would you like to live with the thought that you took away someone's LIFE with your vehicle? Some people just don't get it.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

With the increase of vehicles on the road today and the number of drivers in those vehicles preoccupied, it's not safe to street race anymore, no matter how many Fast & Furious movies you've seen. Back in the 60's we didn't have cell phones, iPhones, iPads, GPS,or video screens, etc. We did have MAP and it still works today. Ideally one must look at the map BEFORE getting into the vehicle and driving to their destination.

Even if you did find a road with almost no traffic, I've heard of people letting their 1 1/2 year olds wander outside and into the streets. Then what are you going to do? How would you like to live with the thought that you took away someone's LIFE with your vehicle? Some people just don't get it.

And that's why you just race at the track where it's almost completely safe, with the safety equipment today, there's a small chance of severe injury or death in the average bracket cars that race at the dragstrip.

Btw I can't stand F&F the stupidity is so high I can't watch one without not picking every unrealistic scene. But I guess most teens don't really know what I do...

Edited by Dragfreak

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But I guess most teens don't really know what I do...

Is that generalize? Were not all street racing psycho's ya know. ;) Anyway back to the OP. It's sad to see that the guy lost alomost everything he put into that restoration in mere seconds, but it's also really good that no lives were taken.

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Is that generalize? Were not all street racing psycho's ya know. ;) Anyway back to the OP. It's sad to see that the guy lost alomost everything he put into that restoration in mere seconds, but it's also really good that no lives were taken.

I think you misunderstood my statement, I was meaning more to the point of the kids who think that the stuff they see in those movies is real and actually happens that way. I'm not sure what you mean by what you're saying, but yes back to the OP that's a hard blow and quite a setback, all of that can be fixed but the originality of the car will diminish and the cost to fix it right won't be cheap.

Edited by Dragfreak

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Ouch, it never feels good to see a Drag Car crash. Especially when the car gets a lot of damage, or even worse, the driver hurts. I've seen a couple of crashes, too and many "close calls" and it's a shame to see a nice car crashing.

Here are a couple:

Super Pro Street '56 Chevy crashes to the wall. On the first gear the car didn't work, then the driver changed to the 2nd gear, he lost the traction. :(

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YChAs2GHJhc

Super Pro Street Chevy Cobalt crashes to the wall and rolls over. The car ran its' first six second pass earlier that weekend, and this crash happened at the final round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB8NUQEqRnQ

This is the worst one, Super Pro ET Madza Marella crashes very hard on the wall. The driver was taken to hospital, but if I remember correctly the injuries were not as bad as we thought at first. But the car destroyed completely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ70T0BMCrE

All these examples (Jason's and mine) show that even if there might happen some crashes, it is rare that the driver gets injured. Keep your seat belts tight, or at least I do that every time I go on the track!

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Ouch, it never feels good to see a Drag Car crash. Especially when the car gets a lot of damage, or even worse, the driver hurts. I've seen a couple of crashes, too and many "close calls" and it's a shame to see a nice car crashing.

Here are a couple:

Super Pro Street '56 Chevy crashes to the wall. On the first gear the car didn't work, then the driver changed to the 2nd gear, he lost the traction. :(

Super Pro Street Chevy Cobalt crashes to the wall and rolls over. The car ran its' first six second pass earlier that weekend, and this crash happened at the final round.

This is the worst one, Super Pro ET Madza Marella crashes very hard on the wall. The driver was taken to hospital, but if I remember correctly the injuries were not as bad as we thought at first. But the car destroyed completely.

All these examples (Jason's and mine) show that even if there might happen some crashes, it is rare that the driver gets injured. Keep your seat belts tight, or at least I do that every time I go on the track!

I've been racing something since I was 4 and started drag racing at 8, I feel more safe in a drag car (or dragster) than any other car. As long as the safety equipment is being used correctly, you don't have much to worry about

The funny thing is an editor wrote an article and used my video (without permission or credit) in his article

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Edited by Dragfreak

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On 4th of July in the Chicagoland area at the famous Duke's Drive In there was supposedly a Camaro and a silver car racing on Harlem Ave. The driver of the Camaro lost control 'bout 90mph and hit a pickup truck head on. I heard the driver and two passengers in the Camaro were killed along with the driver of the truck. Com' on guys, this isn't the 60's anymore, it's a LOT different nowadays.

I was talking with my dad about that on the weekend. The world has changed tremendously from the 1960s and 1970s where in NJ, people would take off to Route 21 and places in Newark to do all their street racing. It was one thing to be doing this stuff back in 1971 when liability issues weren't so omnipresent as they are nowadays. While it was just as dangerous then, it was a different world back then, Forget it now. You get caught street racing by the cops, you'll be in jail and without a license once the court date rolls around.

The feeling of drag racing from a stop light on the street is one of the coolest experiences I have ever had driving a car, but I wouldn't be caught dead doing it anymore. The risks so far outweigh the rewards, and I would never want to be responsible for killing someone else for maybe 15 seconds worth of fun.

Drag strips and road courses are the only places I would ever go to do wild driving anymore because I do not want to worry about other cars on the road and pedestrians.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The only experience I've ever had has been on a track, it's safer than any road out there and if people want to grudge race for money they can still do that, it's a win win situation

Edited by Dragfreak

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I hafta agree with you Dave that the "stoplight drags" of the 60's & early 70's was a great adrenaline rush and an awesome feeling. Of course like you, I wouldn't do it now either, or so I hope as like you said, the world has changed tremendously since then.

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Try being Thomas fletcher, son of Super Stock champ Dan Fletcher. Tom was bracket his dad's car when he reportedly hit the breaks too hard in the traps. He's doing this in the winningest car in NHRA history. His dad got it as a graduation present and it has never seen street time (so the story goes).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXHeCpBAagA

Dale

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I hafta agree with you Dave that the "stoplight drags" of the 60's & early 70's was a great adrenaline rush and an awesome feeling. Of course like you, I wouldn't do it now either, or so I hope as like you said, the world has changed tremendously since then.

I should probably clarify that I was not yet alive back then. :)

But I did my fair share of stop light racing a few decades later. ;) It's one of those things that when you're young, you have little understanding of what the potential consequences are of the whole thing. I think back to when I was 17 and 18, and can only think about how dumb some of the things I did were. I'm just very glad that they turned out to be ok.

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