Two-time Funny Car world champion Cruz Pedregon went for one of the wildest rides in NHRA history — or certainly one of the wildest rides that still resulted in a win light — on Sunday at the Toyota NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas when his Snap-On Tools-backed Toyota Camry took flight at well in excess of 200 mph.
Pedregon, racing opposite of Robert Hight in the opening round of eliminations, sailed past the up-in-smoke Hight on a march to the finish stripe when, near the 400-foot mark, the car began to power into a wheelstand. The car briefly lifted all four wheels off the racing surface as the chassis unloaded onto the wheelie bars. The Camry body can be seen at that point completely separating from it’s mounting hinge behind the roll cage from the thousands of pounds of lift it was instantly subjected to.
Still under power, the chassis hung in the air like a purpose-built wheelstander for more than 600 feet, crossing the finish line with the front wheels in the air and the body still hovering above Pedregon and the chromoly chassis in one of the most awe-inspiring scenes we’ve ever witnessed and certainly one of, if not the single most impressive wheelstands by any Funny Car of any kind or generation.
Pedregon crossed the stripe in 4.24-seconds at 218 mph — with the rear wheels — and took the round win, but upon further inspection by he and his crew following the highlight reel moment, the chassis was found to be buckled from the landing, rendering it unsafe for competition and forcing Pedregon out contention for the remainder of eliminations.