NHR Pro Modified competitor Rick Hord walked way from a fiery, high-speed crash during qualifying on Saturday afternoon at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Worldwide Technology Raceway just outside St. Louis.
Hord, attempting to punch his way into the qualified field from the 17th spot in the fourth and final session, launched with the front end high in the air. As the newly-completed Camaro drifted left of the groove, it sat the nose down and then took an abrupt turn into the guardrail. The car erupted into a fireball as it made impact, flipping onto its roof and sliding to a stop upside down in the shutdown area.
Ironically, Hord’s engine builder and crew chief, Carl Stevens, Jr., was in the opposing lane and slowed early, giving him a front-row seat to the wild ride out his windshield.
“Not what you want to see your friend do in the lane right next to you,” Stevens later commented. “Glad my friend Rick Hord walked away from this terrible wreck without a scratch on him. The good Lord above was watching over us both.”
For Stevens, the incident was a bit of dejavu — in 2016, Terry Barkley, driving a strikingly similar car that he also built and tuned, endured a nearly identical crash at the very same racetrack into the very same guardrail during the Street Car Super Nationals.