The top end of a dragstrip is where you become a hero or zero, and it can also be the place where things can get ugly real quick. And that’s exactly what happened to Pro Stock veteran V. Gaines on Sunday, although it wasn’t just the top end of the zMax Dragway in Charlotte that was giving the racers fits.
Gaines experienced a terrifying incident in Charlotte during eliminations on Sunday when his Dodge Dart took him for a wild ride.
The NHRA tour made its second stop at the always impressive zMax Dragway for the Pep Boys Nationals this weekend. This race is the kickoff for the Countdown to The Championship, so every team that’s in the hunt for a title was leaving nothing in the table.
Mother Nature made her presence known during the weekend and threw some rain down on the competitors, making the track surface a bit tricky as eliminations opened – which proved to greatly effect the Pro Stock class. After the first few pairs in the first round of eliminations had issues getting to the finish stripe under power, the NHRA made an effort to work the surface over and get some bite back in throughout the track.
Gaines was paired with fellow Mopar runner Allen Johnson in the opening stanza, and neither racer came away unscrathed. Right at the hit, Johnson’s Mopar made a big move towards the centerline and clipped a foam block giving the win to Gaines. Further down track Gaines’ car made a sudden move towards the left at the top end that he wasn’t able to recover from. The Kendall Oil Dart moved back to the right and then began to violently barrel roll before it landed on all four wheels and stopped short of the right lane wall.
Gaines was checked out and released by medical personal with no serious injuries after his wild ride. The remainder of eliminations were canceled and will be contested during qualifying at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals next weekend.