Noted grudge and no-time racer Brian “Chucky” Davis went for not one, but two wild rides this weekend at the famed Darlington Dragway in his sinister new Camaro. The bad breaks started with a mishap during pre-race testing when the center of his left rear wheel failed in spectacular fashion around mid-track, sending Davis and his new Camaro spinning into the left side retaining wall. The car suffered some fairly heavy damage to the body, but that seemed to be the extent of the carnage.
The wheel center remained bolted to the hub while the spokes broke and sent the wheel barrel and tire exiting the car on test run.
Davis, ever the hardcore competitor, had a $10,000-to-win, 29-inch tire shootout on the calendar, so he and his crew immediately set to work thrashing on the car, trimming, cutting, and taping as much of the lightweight body as possible to get it ready for the shootout later that afternoon. With the body patched up as well as could be managed for a pit-area repair and a new pair of rear wheels procured, Chucky and crew returned to the staging lanes and made a solid shakedown run before the shootout commenced. However, the good news ended there for the Michigan-based team.
The aftermath of the second crash. The car is potentially a total loss, but you can see how well the Rick Jones-built cage held up during the crash.
In the first round of the 29-inch tire shootout, Davis staged the car and made a solid hit and actually took the win, but when he lifted out of the throttle, the rear end shifted underneath the car and went one direction while the rest of the car went the other, sending Brian on a wild ride though the shutdown area. When the car finally came to rest, it was clear there would be no between-rounds repairs, as the damage was devastating. Thankfully, the Rick Jones-built chassis held up exactly as intended and Davis was able to walk away, with the only injury being a huge blow to his bank account. Looking the car over after the crash, it was determined that a broken heim joint in the wishbone – likely broken during the first crash and overlooked during the repairs – caused the rear end to shift under the car.
The culprit of the crash, the broken heim joint in the wishbone assembly. As you can see, it broke past the edge of the sleeve, which is why it wasn’t caught when Davis and his crew inspected the car after the first crash.
Davis has a devoted crew and sponsors who are sure to help him get back on track, but he does have a long road ahead. Instead of jumping right back into the rebuild, Davis is going to spend the holidays with his family and friends, before hitting the road back to the track early in 2017. Thanks to Brian Davis and crewman TC Campos for the included images.