Carlos Mantano of Pepe Loco Racing and his Mazda MX6 have been a staple in the Sport Compact racing world for a long time, but the June 3rd Atoc Raceway Import Shoototout may have put an end to the iconic MX6.
At Atco Raceway in New Jersey, the MX6 ended its ¼-mile pass on its lid. All available reports state that Carlos walked away uninjured, thankfully, but as the pictures show, the car didn’t fare as well.
As the video demonstrates, the car gets loose right before it reaches the 60-foot mark down the track. Carlos stays with it and looks to have it saved, but at the 1/8-mile mark, the fierce machine takes a violent right turn. The MX6 slams on its side as it shoots to the retaining wall. Upon impact with the wall, it’s then thrust up in the air remaining upside down. As if that isn’t bad enough, the scariest part of the crash is when the roof makes hard contact with the guard rail, but luckily, it was on the passenger side. The race car continues to a stop on its roof and the safety crew quickly responds. The most amazing part of the video is watching Carlos emerge from the car under his own power.
Less than a week after this recent crash, the news that Carlos was okay sprung a slew of internet rumors on what team Pepe Loco would do next. Talk that they would rebuild the eleven-year-old car came first. Then came chatter on Carlos merging with a new team. Whatever they decide to do, it’s bound to be fast and no doubt it will also be import turbo-powered. Although it’s sad to see such an iconic 6-second car destroyed, it’s great to see Carlos ready to throttle again.