There were a few wild rides at the NMRA season opener over the weekend, but not all of them had a storybook ending. During eliminations, BG Racing’s Brad Gusler, whose EcoBoost Mustang has run in the 9-second zone, lost traction and spun into the wall, ending its quest to reclaim the EcoBoost quarter-mile record.
“On that pass, I knew I had that car covered easily, so I said I’m going to leave without even bringing it up, pull out, and when I see over 3,000 rpm and, as boost is coming up, I am going to hit it,” Brad explained. “That’s when all hell broke loose. You saw it pop the tires up, black smoke came out and it was all looking good until that water spilled under the front and it was all over then.”
“I felt it start to come around and I let off completely,” he added. “It was just a couple thousands of a second and I came off the throttle and it went around so quick that I was backwards for a while, looking at that guy wondering what he’s gonna do.”
Fortunately the much slower car he was racing had time to avoid any additional contact. Moreover, Brad is thankful that all his car’s safety equipment did its job. He walked away without a scratch and was able to drive home in 15 hours.
“It didn’t hurt me at all, as hard as it hit,” Brad told us. “The chassis stayed straight and that’s Watson’s K-member and their IRS in the rear and their roll bar. It took a hard lick and still kept it decently straight.”
After he has time to rest up from the trip home, Brad plans to drive the car up to Watson Racing to have it inspected to determine if the car is repairable or if he will have to start over with a new body. Either way, he has the full support of his sponsors, including Anderson Composites, SCT Performance, Vibrant Technologies, and, of course, Watson Racing.
“I pretty much need to upgrade to an 8.50-cert cage anyway. I just have a six-point in it now, which is one of first Watson had done,” Brad said. “Who knew we’d get there this quick. So, that bar was going to have to be cut out anyway and a whole new cage put in, so I have to factor that in as to whether it’s worth it to fix this body or not.”
Either way, he hopes to have his EcoBoost combination back on the race track in 90 days. With a worthy rival in the form of Bill Putnam’s UPR-backed EcoJet, Brad is even more driven to get back to the track with a more aggressive combination. That said he was pretty confident about how the previous combination would perform before things went awry.
“I am telling you, man. It was on a pass. I was wishing when I hit it 30 feet out that I tried leaving on big boost straight out of the gate, but I didn’t know if it would hold it. I wanted to wait until I got 30-40 feet,” Brad added “…I thought it was all good. It was pulling like a freight train and then I felt it start coming around and I had no idea it was in water then, but it was a lot of water…”
Of course, the best news is that Brad is perfectly fine and ready to get back to the track as soon as possible.