Track safety should always be a top concern for all involved in drag racing — racers, fans, track personnel, and even photographers. As seen in the video above, bracket racer Shawn Mcfalls from Ontario, Canada was staged up ready for another run down the drag strip in his first-generation Camaro. As he released the transbrake, the car left the line in a twisting motion, instantly making you think that an axle had broken in the rear end. Not the case.
Mcfalls’ Camaro bent the bottom right rear 4-link bar, causing the car to immediately drive to the right toward the outside retaining wall. In the span of a fraction of a second, he was preparing for a wheels-up pass and instead was looking directly into the right side guardrail.
The Grand Bend Motorplex has concrete retaining walls, but as Mcfalls made contact with the wall, it simply toppled right over, serving as a catapult for the wayward Camaro. As the camera turns to follow the car, here’s when your attention directs away from the car to the photographer trying to scamper away from the airborne race car.
The photographer, Dwayne Young, ended up falling to the ground as Mcfalls flew over top of him and came crashing to the ground on the outside of the racing surface.
Both Shawn and Dwayne came out of the accident uninjured and lived to comment about the incident on Facebook. A couple of things to take away from the situation ar importance of track safety and making sure the retaining walls are built to withstand impacts like this. Drivers must be sure to have their safety gear (helmets, jackets, pants, belts, engine diapers, etc.) up to date and in working condition to keep them safe in the case of fluke accidents like this happening to them. The epitome of parts failure can happen on any given pass down a dragstrip, whether it be an engine letting go or a 4-link bar bending and sending you careening out of control. Always be alert, whether you’re the driver or a bystander.