Lights Out 7 will go down in history as a watershed moment in small tire racing, there is no question about that. However, not everybody in attendance for the historic event had a great outing. Thursday’s qualifying sessions in particular were marred by delays for fluid on the track as well as several crashes. One of the more intense moments occurred during Thursday night’s Radial vs the World qualifier when veteran radial racers Kyle Huettel and Dave Bowman lined up to take their shot at the record field.
Huettel, the man behind the famed “BAD9ER” team from Texas, was making just the second pass in his new Xtreme Race Cars-built C6 Corvette – a virtual twin to teammate Jason Michalak’s blown ‘Vette – when the car lost traction and shot hard across the track. In the other lane, one of the west coast’s most popular radial competitors, Dave Bowman, was in the process of returning his Mustang to earth after launching into a power wheelie alongside Huettel. The timing proved to be disastrously bad luck for both drivers, as it appeared Huettel was going to gather up the new ‘Vette before it smacked the wall in Bowman’s lane. However, Kyle barreled nose-first into Bowman’s rear drivers-side quarter panel, sending him into a skid that nearly sent the former Tim Lynch-owned ‘Stang barrel rolling down the South Georgia tarmac, while Huettel’s car spun wildly behind Bowman.
Both cars came to rest with the shiny sides up and the drivers were able to walk away without major injuries, though both reported some serious soreness throughout the rest of the weekend. To add insult to injury, Bowman was plagued by front end trouble in his hauler on the long journey back to California, resulting in a loss of control at speed that ended with the toter home centered atop an armco barrier alongside the highway.
It’s never good seeing somebody lose their beloved hot rod to a crash, so we at Dragzine wish both racers the best in getting back to the track soon. Thank you, as always, to Hans Pierre Jr. of FreeLifeFilms.com for his footage, and thanks to Tony Kirksey of Tony Kirksey Photography for the excellent photographs. Check out his Instagram at @tonykirksey to see more!