Los Angeles, California native and veteran doorslammer racer Terry Barkley enjoyed a dream outing during qualifying at the Street Car Super Nationals Anarchy at the Arch, as he qualified number one in his first-ever race behind the wheel of a Pro Modified-style car, setting career-bests in elapsed time and speed by significant margins. But, it all came to the most unfortunate of conclusions for the quiet but confident racer known as “The Captain” on Saturday evening when his Xtreme Race Cars-built Camaro drifted out of the groove and crashed in devastating fashion.
Barkley, displaying some impressive fortitude behind the wheel, clicked off three-second runs immediately during testing in the world-record holding Camaro built and formerly driven by Xtreme Racing Engines and Race Cars’ Carl Stevens, Jr., and arrived in St. Louis ready to make a splash. And a splash he made, as he stormed to a 3.76 at 216 mph in qualifying after making only a handful of passes in a 4,000-plus horsepower car, having never been over 180 mph in a race car in his life. He added a 3.78 to his resume for good measure to close qualifying, and after advancing through the first round of Pro Nitrous vs Pro Boost, was paired up with Eddie Rogers in the second round.
Barkley got out of the gate just .012-seconds behind Rogers and was making up ground when his Camaro drifted left of the groove and immediately pitched right, careening across the lanes behind Rogers and striking the concrete guardrail nearly head-on. The impact burst the fuel tank and lines, resulting a massive fireball that hindered view of the car from the starting line. Barkley’s battered race car rolled to a stop in the shutdown area still on fire, and, struggling to breathe through the fire and smoke, he was helped from the passenger side of the car by Mark Savage and Brad Personnett, who happened to be on the return road and hopped the guardrail to assist.
Barkley was checked out on-site by medical personnel and released. Despite the costly damage to his race car and the dark cloud over an otherwise spectacular weekend, Barkley was in good spirits as track staff loaded the battered Camaro into the hauler. “I’m fine, it all just happened so fast. It was a pretty big crash, but I felt like the one with my Nova was a lot harder [referencing a fiery incident he had with his small-tire Nova in Pomona back in 2012]. We’ll be back though…we’ll see if this car can be fixed, but if it’s damaged too bad, we’ll build a new one and come back. We’ve got a lot of things we want to do in this class,” Barkley shared.
Barkley and Stevens, Jr. intend to eventually campaign as a two-car team in the PDRA Pro Extreme ranks, with the addition of Barkley’s car providing them with the on-track data needed to consistently run at the front of the pack.
Video credit: Urban Hillbilly Videos