Last weekend, a racer at the U.S. 13 Dragway in Delaware took his newly-completed Chevelle for a harrowing off-track ride. The driver, who was apparently knocked unconscious when the car lost traction and smacked the guardwall shortly after launch, either held his foot on the pedal while knocked out or something mechanical trapped the throttle open, sending it screaming toward the top end with no one at the helm. After covering a great deal of track unimpeded, the car impacted the barrier in the other lane, shedding several large pieces of body work and what appears to be a front wheel.
The car then careened back across the track, now past the finish line and traveling at a high rate of speed, and actually bounced off the guardrail in its original lane and exited the racing surface past the end of the guardrail. As it raced toward the heavily wooded area surrounding the facility, the Chevelle struck another race car, whose driver had stopped to pick up his parachute after completing his pass just before the Chevelle. The other car, a silver second-generation Camaro, took a hard shot right across the front end, and both race cars were sent bouncing into the nearby woods.
Luckily both drivers survived the incident. The Chevelle’s driver, whose name hadn’t been officially released at last check, was airlifted to a nearby trauma center. Later, a fellow racer revealed that he suffered a broken arm, hand and leg along with multiple broken ribs and a collapsed lung. The driver of the Camaro suffered some cuts and bruises but no major injuries, according to reports from racers in attendance.
Unfortunately, stuck-throttle crashes are often the most frightening, as real estate quickly runs out in the shutdown area at a high rate of speed. This video proves just how quickly things can go from bad to worse when what appeared to be an unfortunate-but-tame guardrail encounter early in a run turned into a harrowing high-speed nightmare that resulted in serious injuries and two heavily damaged – if not completely totaled – drag cars.
Thanks to YouTube user LedFoot Tucker for the excellent video footage!