With any form of racing there’s a certain level of risk, and that’s just the price of admission to the game of speed. As a racer you never dwell on it and as a spectator you hope to never see the bad things happen. But there are times at the track when things go wrong, and then when they go REALLY wrong. Last weekend at Dragway 42 in West Salem Ohio, Dawn Mazi-Hovsepian from Drag Strip Riot caught a scary and violent Gasser crash on film that definitely fell into the REALLY wrong category.
Old school Gassers represent the golden age of drag racing. These cars were cutting edge in their day, and they were a fine display of the lengths racers were willing to go to for speed and the ability to win. Competitors found themselves becoming engineers trying to find ways to exploit the rules to gain a viable advantage. From the straight axle front end to modifying the chassis to move the rear end forward for a weight transfer advantage, anything that could tried, was.
The driver involved in this crash, Gordon Crowe, was piloting a 1933 Willys gasser that went by the name of ‘Biggie Rat’. The relatively short wheelbase and higher center of gravity of a Gasser can be a tricky beast to tame. Everything looked fine on the pass until close to half track when the car started to drift toward the center line. Gordon tried to correct, however the car got too far out of the groove. Even after Gordon tried to pull the parachute to stabilize the Biggie Rat the car was too far gone to save. After violently sliding and flipping the car came to stop, but not after tripping the 1/8th mile clocks at over 100 mph. The best news is that Gordon was conscious and alert after the wreck, but did suffer a badly broken arm in the accident. But the safety equipment did its job helping to keep this from being much worse for Gordon.