The drag racing world witnessed lightning strike twice on Saturday afternoon, as just weeks after NHRA Pro Modified racer Tim Tindle survived a horrific, over-the-guardrail crash at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, English racer Graham Ellis experienced a crash that almost mirrored that of Tindle’s during qualifying for the National Finals at the Santa Pod Raceway.
Ellis, aboard his turbocharged Plymouth Superbird, was marching down the right lane when his machine hooked abruptly and sharply to the right toward the guardrail at the half-track mark. The car struck the wall at about a 45 degree angle virtually on its side, very much like Tindle’s, with the angle and momentum causing it to climb up and over the wall. Once over, the right rear caught the grass first, digging in and sending the Superbird into a violent series of barrel rolls before finally coming to a halt near the 1/4-mile scoreboards.
Ellis was airlifted to a local hospital, and according to unconfirmed reports, was conscious and talking when medical personnel arrived. He reportedly was diagnosed with fractures to his face, neck, and back, among other injuries, and will be kept for observation, but thankfully, is expected to fully recover.
From all of us at Dragzine, we wish Graham a swift recovery and return to the cockpit. And, let’s certainly hope we don’t have to see another crash like this one for a long, long time.