Perhaps we can blame it on the monster truck guys and their let-it-all-hang-out approach to their freestyle events. After a couple of decades, simply jumping a row of cars wasn’t enough to bring the house down, nor was a spinning ‘tornado’ in the dirt or busting through an old RV. No, they had to literally tear stuff up, by turning the big behemoths on their roofs, shredding the body, or breaking a wheel clean off at the axle (which does little to stop them, by the way). They pushed the limits, and the fans ate it up.
Much in the same, drag racing wheelstand contests — of which there are few — have progressively required ever-more carnage to get the crowd up on their feet. Sure, the fans still love a beautiful bumper-dragger ridden several hundred feet downtrack, and those are the wheelstands that typically win these kinds of entertaining sideshows, but if you can destroy something — give them a little shock and awe — that’s instant cred. At the end of the day, it’s the skinned-up roof and the smashed oil pan and crossmembers they’ll remember.
And chances are, a few people out htere remember Greg Leideker.
Leideker, who drives the short wheelbase ’71 Chevette you see here, has been on his lid on at least two occasions, and judging by how quickly the car points straight to the sky (the intentional slant in the weight balance to the rear) and the appearance of the car, with sponsor decals located on the undercarriage, our guess is he had every intention of putting on an epic show at the expense of a torn up race car. And then, just like the monster trucks teams, he heads back home to put another body and a fresh coat of paint on it, so he can head out and do it again.