Crossing the finish line with the car on its side while on fire is the best way to win a race.
Dragsters can accelerate from 0 to 300 mph faster than the time it takes for some supercars to reach 62 mph. Consequently, when things go wrong at those speeds, they go spectacularly wrong, as was the case during a recent drag race at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas. Top Fuel drag racer Steve Torrence was racing against Richie Crampton at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals and was the points leader. Without warning, the left rear tire failed towards the end of the strip causing the car to careen into a wall at 302 mph.
The drag car burst into flames and flipped onto its side during the violent impact. Luckily, Torrence was unhurt in the crash and walked away from the wreck unassisted. If that wasn’t already miraculous enough, he even managed to win the race crossing the finish line with the car on its side while on fire. “What I thought happened is exactly what happened,” he told Dragzine.
“The left rear tire went down and as soon as it blew the car started going left and I tried to steer into it, but then I hit the wall and it was a ride from there. I did all I could do. Thankfully Richie didn’t run over me. If you drive a Top Fuel car long enough, it’s going to happen and I’ve been very fortunate and very blessed to not have any of these problems up until now.” This wasn’t the only dramatic moment of the day either, as Torrence experienced more bad luck in the next race. During the semi-final against Brittany Force, the engine in Torrence’s backup car exploded, allowing his rival to snatch the victory. Better luck next time.