After an extra-long, cool burnout the driver’s anticipation level raises while staging the car. A calming deep breath is usually followed by shoving the throttle to the floor and sliding a finger off the transbrake button. The car moves forward and up simultaneously. At this point, even the most ridged of chassis flex to the point that it’s felt in the driver’s teeth. G-forces and adrenaline increase together while in the back of the pilots’ throat there’s a small tinge of uncertainty. Typically the car is rocketing forward and the driver can’t see where it’s going. Seeing the track wouldn’t really help. It’s not like the driver could steer with the front tire four feet off the ground. The car then reaches a balancing point where it dances with gravity before making its decent to the track.
The steering wheel rattles when the front tires make contact and that’s when the driver remembers to breathe again. Sounds like an any-day, any-who wheel-standing driver? Well, not this time. This time it was a reality for wheelstander Jeff Wild and his time on the track was anything but typical. The recent “Night of Fire” at Cedar Falls Raceway in Iowa proved to be a tough event for Jeff as he and his wheel standing cohorts were making exhibition runs for the Iowa crowd. Jeff and his ’70 Buick powered into a massive wheel stand, then took an about-turn and began a fierce battle with the steal guard rail. Speculation is that an anti-roll bar attached to the rear housing failed at launch. As seen on the video, the once-gorgeous convertible flips and lands on its lid, resulting in a crumpled steel mess. The positive news is that Jeff walked away. Cars can be replaced, but drivers are not replicable—although it’s sad to see Jeff lose the car he owned for many years.