His nickname is The Iceman. Brian Devilbiss, it would seem, has definitely earned that moniker. During a qualifying pass on Friday evening at the NMRA Spring Break Shootout in Bradenton, Florida, Brian’s turbocharged, 2013 Shelby GT500 crossed the centerline and spun, but he managed to avoid both his opponent and the wall.
Brian came out of the hole hard. His Evolution Performance-backed Shelby GT500, which is known as the Devil’s Reject, has long been a potent performer on the quarter mile. In fact, just the day before during testing at Bradenton Motorsports Park, Brian ripped off a stout 7.46 at 188 mph pass, so he appeared primed to compete in the new Modular Xtreme specialty class.
However, as the sun was setting on Friday evening, Brian lined up against another GT500 racer, Randy Thomas, for the first round of qualifying. Brian left the line and his Shelby’s front end climbed toward the sky. The nose landed hard near mid-track and then the car lost traction. It crossed the centerline, nearly missing Randy’s ride.
It turns out it was a mix of Randy’s decisions and Brian’s driving skill that saved both racers from catastrophe.
“I’m glad to have been beside the Devil’s Reject,” Randy said. “I left late on purpose as his car is much quicker than mine, but I knew I was in for one hell of a show. I ran a 5.61 at 91 mph and killed a great pass that I was on for a two-ton street car. I hit the radio button after I checked in Brian as he gave me the thumbs up. God looked over us today and saved a couple really nice cars.”
Brian drove the wheels off his GT500 and Randy got on the brakes in time to avoid contact. While it’s exciting to watch runs like these live on SpeedVideo, it’s definitely a relief that there was a happy ending. Brian was able to drive his car off the track, which is pretty impressive after all that drama.