This isn't a situation you want to be in at 200 mph.
You’ve seen a monster truck perform a front flip. Now get ready to witness a drag car attempt a similar display of auto aerobatics. In the world of Funny Cars, the combination of obscene power and a lack of downforce means it’s not uncommon to see these ludicrous drag cars perform crowd-pleasing wheelies down the strip. But if the nose climbs too high and enough air gets under the bodywork, the dragsters tend to take off and flip over – just as driver Daniel Pharris found out at last week’s Radial Revenge Tour at Tulsa Raceway Park.
Pharris was racing his 4,000-horsepower Corvette C7, a car capable of accelerating from 0-200 mph in around four seconds. At one point, his competitor Keith Haney suddenly found himself fighting for control when the nose of his Camaro began to lift. This gave Pharris a momentary lead, but he soon found himself in the same predicament.
At around the 250 feet mark, the Corvette caught some air but Pharris was unable to tame it, causing the out of control dragster to take off like a plane and soar 300-feet into the air - not a situation you want to be in at 200 mph. It’s a spectacular sight as the carbon fiber front-end sheers off when the car takes flight (apparently it had only been recently built for the car following a fire in February), before slamming back down onto the track. Miraculously, despite the incident Pharris completed the 1/8 mile run in a respectable time of 4.6-seconds at 226.9 mph. If points were awarded to who could perform the biggest wheelie, Pharris would win hands down – Haney’s Camaro wheelie was a solid effort, but it paled in comparison.
More importantly, Pharris walked away from the spectacular crash unharmed. Speaking to Dragzine, he said he was "a little sore and ready to get back at it," which is a testament to the rigorous safety measures in these cars. The impact of the landing from the in-car camera looked utterly wince-worthy. “I did everything I could to catch it before it got out of hand but missed it. These things aren’t like driving miss daisy to the grocery store — more like riding a bull. You have to be prepared for anything with 4000-plus horsepower,” he said. “The car isn’t as bad as what it looks and will be fixed just as quick as it was after the fire.”