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Old 09-28-2019, 09:54 PM   #1
acammer
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Wild ride at the drag strip (drifting the 1/8th mile)

If you wanna skip the long read just watch the video here:

https://vimeo.com/362985300

Last night's trip to the drag strip was unlike any other time I've ever been. I'm made few hundred drag strip passes in my life, and at least 50-60 in this car alone, and never has anything remotely like this happened.

This was my 5th pass of the evening, and I was really starting to get my new Hoosier's and 2-step launch control dialed in. The 60' was the best I've ever cut with this car, and it was on what surely was going to be it's best pass ever. Unfortunately, at about the 500' mark I ran through a large puddle of coolant the truck in front of me put down. I didn't see it at all, and apparently neither did the track crew (although several spectators confirmed they saw the truck let out a large cloud of smoke at about that point). The car instantly made a quick right and headed for the wall at about 85mph. It's just not a place you expect to suddenly be fighting with a car violently out of shape. I stomped on the clutch immediately, steered into the slide, and amazing it just kept sliding for a bit - coolant is slippery stuff. Finally, the car found some grip and started to respond to my inputs, and then the fight with extremely soft and flexible drag radial tires with very low air pressure was on.

To add complexity, I was about 3 car lengths ahead of the car in the left lane. I was rapidly losing speed while sliding, and was very concerned about coming across the track right in front of him. I did my very best to catch the slide, almost kept it off the wall completely as the other car passed by, and then let it (let it? I think it was going regardless) run back towards the middle and loop out. Then, I limped off on the first return road, and spent a few seconds letting my heart rate start to come back down before hoping out and looking at the damage.

The damage is a a little worse than it looks. Yes the bumper needs paint, but it actually shoved the lower corner of the rear quarter in. Fortunately I know a good body guy, but of course it will all be out of pocket as insurance isn't going to do anything at the track. Amazingly I didn't hurt the wheel at all, just rubbed the tire ever so slightly.

I'm upset the track crew didn't go take a look after the truck before me clearly had issues. I understand they have a tough job to do, trying to get cars down as quickly as possible, and stay safe, but I would gladly spend a little extra time waiting to make sure the track is safe. The issue was so severe from the coolant that was put down that they closed that lane for the rest of the night and just ran singles in the left lane.

Ultimately, I'm pretty happy with my driving, and especially that I kept it off the car in the other lane. I'm not hurt, I was still able to drive the car on the trailer at the end of the night, I'm counting my blessings because that could have been so much worse. Stay safe and stay ready all my drag racing buddies - anything can happen out there.
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Old 09-28-2019, 10:21 PM   #2
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that sucks man. glad you made it out ok. looks like a easy fix though
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:15 PM   #3
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It’s a little rougher than the pictures show. Pretty deep gouges and stuff. I’m just happy he was ok because we can always fix and replace car parts and cars. I was staging right behind him in the same lane and it happened so fast to him I didn’t even realize what was going on down the end of the track. It happened just as I was rolling out of my burn out of water box. I had to watch my camera of it a few times that was recording but he was far up the track you can only see his tail lights going right left right very quick. He certainly did one hell of a good job driving that one out.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:20 PM   #4
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Dang bro , you were definitely on your way to a new PB if that didn’t happen.
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:11 AM   #5
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That really sucks. Nice driving recovering it though looked like you did everything right. Glad to hear your alright and certain you'll have that beautiful car back to like new in no time.
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Old 09-29-2019, 01:59 AM   #6
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Glad you’re alright and there’s relatively minor damage to the car. I would be livid with the track crew. We’re all human and things happen but they’d still be catching flak. In the end, great job with the save. Luckily you were able to keep it off the other racer, this could have went much worst.
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Old 09-29-2019, 03:35 AM   #7
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That was a great save, that could’ve been so much worse. Glad you’re alright and the car isn’t too badly damaged. You’ll get that PB next time!
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:03 AM   #8
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Glad you're ok!
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Old 09-29-2019, 02:19 PM   #9
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Whoa that is what im scared of at the track. Could of been a lot worse. Thats an easy fix, i work in a body shop.
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Old 09-29-2019, 03:59 PM   #10
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i just paid 500 to get a bumper fixed with similar damage,and i brought them the bumper.i i think i got ripped.
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:08 AM   #11
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Side note though, that thing sounds freaking awesome
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:30 AM   #12
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Thanks guys. Still sorting my emotions out on this one. It's a freak thing, and I could probably go make another 500 passes and not having anything like that happen again. On the other hand, I can't help thinking how lucky I am to not have had much damage, and no injuries. I'm not sure I want to keep risking such a nice car. Lots to think about, most likely outcome is I'll park it for the winter, get it fixed up, and then have the itch by the spring and put it back out there.
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acammer View Post
Thanks guys. Still sorting my emotions out on this one. It's a freak thing, and I could probably go make another 500 passes and not having anything like that happen again. On the other hand, I can't help thinking how lucky I am to not have had much damage, and no injuries. I'm not sure I want to keep risking such a nice car. Lots to think about, most likely outcome is I'll park it for the winter, get it fixed up, and then have the itch by the spring and put it back out there.
I know the feeling. Heck, I am second guessing the whole racing thing right now as a result of what happened to you. You did some excellent driving to save that car from hitting the wall. I might have ran out of skill to early in the process to keep mine off the wall. Glad you and the car escaped relatively unscathed!!
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:32 AM   #14
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Wow.Glad you are OK and with Lt. Damage. That I guess will be a wakeup call to the Safety Crew for sure. Best wishes on getting it back to 100%.
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