With three NHRA world championship and umpteen national and divisional event triumphs to his credit, Dan Fletcher is not only one of the greatest sportsman racers of all-time, but one of the most prolific drag racers to ever strap on a helmet, period. And as it turns out, his eldest son, Thomas, is just a chip off the old block behind the wheel, as well…but it just so happens his greatest talent might be more suited to drifting, as he proved after getting himself out one heck of a pickle during eliminations at the Auto-Plus New England Nationals at the New England Dragway.
The second-generation Fletcher, driving the family’s familiar PEAK-backed Camaro in Stock Eliminator, had the particularly unfortunate luck of drawing one of the other all-time great sportsman racers, Peter Biondo, in the first round of eliminations. Biondo, an absolute ninja at the tree and in racing the stripe, forced Thomas to pull out all the stops in an effort to put the many-time champ away early. In pushing to tighten up the stripe, however, Thomas climbed on the binders just a bit too hard, sending him out of control and across the centerline, only narrowly avoiding striking the drivers side of Biondo’s Camaro.
What happened next was the result of either a legendary driving job that would make world champion drift or rally drivers stand up and applaud, a whole lot of luck, or the more likely scenario of a combination of the two. Regardless of why or how, Thomas spun the car a complete 360-degrees and then some and didn’t hit a thing. Not even so much as a nick in old dad’s paint.
After pulling off the masterful save, even Thomas was clearly in shock at what had just occurred, as he slowly limped his way down to the turnoff. Well, that or he was busy cleaning out his shorts.
Fortunately for the Fletcher’s (and for Biondo), their machine lived to see another day, and that sponsorship from Mickey Thompson will come in handy this week, as they’ll undoubtedly need four fresh hoops.
Video courtesy NHRA