NHRA Funny Cars are known for their killer acceleration, massive top speed and occasional engine blow-out.
Funny Cars have been drag racing since the mid-60's. From then on, we’ve had a host of cars represented as funnies, from the Chevy Vega and Plymouth Barracuda that ran in the '70s to the modern-day Dodge Charger and Ford Mustang. What they all have in common is their composite bodies and front-mounted engines, as well as the ability to reach lightning speeds in just a few seconds, with today’s cars regularly topping out at over 300 mph. And then there’s the crashes, five of which can be seen here - none with any serious consequences to the drivers.
In 1982, Raymond Beadle was aiming for his fourth straight championship. Things didn’t quite go to plan (he finished fifth), but he left his mark with a first-round crash in Gainesville where he rolled the car and continued driving after landing right side up, crossing the finishing line in the bodiless chassis.
During qualifying for the Auto Club NHRA Finals, Toddy Lesenko suffered a massive explosion, but handled the Funny Car magnificently, keeping it on the track and crossing the finishing line in style.
Driving a Valvoline NextGen Dodge Charger, 2012 champion Jack Beckman kept his cool after his Funny Car suffered a serious explosion during the qualifying round of the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona. Charming to the last, Beckman raised his hands to the crowd as he walked away unscathed.
At the Memphis Motorsports Park in 2009, Daniel Wilkerson was unfortunate to have both his rear slicks detach from the rear axle, resulting in a heavy impact with the wall. Although a Funny Car rookie at the time, the accident didn’t stop him from returning to future competitions.
During the 2010 NHRA 4 Wide Nationals at the Zmax Dragway, we got two crashes for the price of one. Jeff Diehl’s engine riped, apart sending the car's body flying into the air, while Matt Hagan experienced a huge explosion through the car’s lights, disintegrating the body.