The “new” ADRL opened its 2013 campaign under the direction of original series founder Kenny Nowling at the Rockingham Dragway over the weekend with a packed house, some spectacular racing, and a lot of familiar faces in the pit area. The volatility of on-the-edge doorslammer racing reared its ugly head, however, marring what was otherwise a successful kickoff to the new year with three nasty crashes that all of the drivers were fortunate to walk away from.
(Video credit: wupracing)
During the first Pro Extreme qualifying session on Saturday, Muscatine, Mo. racer Monte Grace lost control of his supercharged ’68 Camaro just beyond the sixty-foot marker, striking the left hand retaining wall before careening back across the track and smacking the right lane guardrail head-on and erupting into flames. Fortunately for Grace, the accident happened early in the run before he’d built up a head of steam, but he clearly still had his bell rung from the two very hard impacts and was to slow to climb from the battered race car as safety personnel tended to him.
Also on Saturday, Shannon “The Icemen” Jenkins, one of the finest wheelmen in the history of Pro Modified racing, had an incredibly rare miscue in the third and final Pro Mod qualifying session when his Al-Anabi Racing 2012 Camaro got on its lid in the shutdown area.
(video credit: The Racing Vids)
Then on Sunday during the second round of Pro Nitrous eliminations, class ace John Decerbo crashed his gorgeous ’68 Camaro while racing alongside eventual winner Steve Jackson when his machine got loose near the finish line and nearly overturned as it hooked and turned across the centerline head-on into the opposite retaining wall. The impact sent a massive fireball into the spectator area walkway. After spinning to a halt, Decerbo climbed from the heavily damaged race car without injury.
It’s a true testament in each of these situations to the craftsmanship of these race cars and the safety measures that are in place to allow these drivers to walk away unharmed.