Dipping your racecar off the end of the strip once in a while is just one of those “stuff happens” kinda’ deals, but do it twice in one night and it might be time to pack it up and head to the house. Missouri doorslammer racer Chad Larkin did just that, but he didn’t show an ounce of quit throughout it all.
The Bonne Terre [Missouri] Drag Strip held its Horsepower For Hope charity racing event the first weekend in June, featuring, among others, a heads-up Outlaw 32 class. Local racer Larkin was one of those to take part in the $5,000-to-win field in his supercharged Corvette, but to say it just wasn’t his night would be understatement.
Earlier in the evening’s activities, Larkin lost his parachute at the conclusion of a run — the cord ripping clean off the chassis before it could even fully blossom and slow the car. That caused Larkin to ever-so-gently nose the car off the end of the strip into the grass, just a few steps shy of the swamp that lurks in the distance.
After dragging the car out of the field, replacing the parachute, and giving it a once-over, Larkin returned the next round, only to bring the racing to a halt once more. Coming up a little short the run before, Larkin made sure he fully buried the ‘Vette in the swamp on the second go-round, ending up well out into the weeds and swampy marsh beyond the shutdown area. In a brief comment with the Urban Hillbilly camera crew, Larkin stated that he took a glance at his opponent at the stripe and was a little late on the laundry … and with a relatively short shutdown, that was bad news.
Despite a little cosmetic damage to the fiberglass front end and some water in places it shouldn’t be, Larkin wasn’t done. After getting knee-deep in the swamp to pull the car out, Larkin and his crew vacuumed the water out, checked the car over once again, and returned for the semifinals, where he had a bye run into the final. However, his unlikely run to the title ended in the final when his windows fogged up during the run, forcing him to lift early … which might’ve been a wise move given his luck to that point in the evening.