If it weren’t for bad luck, popular PDRA Pro Extreme star John Stanley wouldn’t have any luck at all. The Maryland native was marching toward a solid mid-three second run during Friday’s second round of qualifying at the season-opening PDRA Southern Extreme Nationals when the driveshaft in his Stanley & Weiss Racing Cadillac fractured, sending parts and pieces scattering across the racetrack (and getting John’s attention in a big way).
What John, father Camp, and the rest of the crew discovered after returning to the pit area was nothing short of incredible, but not that unsurprising given the amount of rotational force at work behind the 3,500-plus horsepower, screw-blown powerplant. As you can see in the images, the driveshaft broke about 1/4 of its length forward of the yoke, and with so much force still at play, whipped around inside the confines of the chassis’ driveshaft loop, flattening the round tubes and, in one spot, severing the tube in two. The wishbone was also broken at its intersection point, presumably by the other half of the driveshaft, still attached to the third member, whipping around at wheel speed.
Fortunately, with assistance from some fellow racers, the Stanley’s were able to repair the damage to the chassis overnight in time for Saturday’s third qualifying session and the opening round of eliminations, which John dropped to Bubba Stanton. Soon enough, though, the Stanley & Weiss camp’s unlucky fortunes, and all of their tireless efforts, are going to be rewarded with success that will make them forget the incidents like these. Mark it down.