If you’ve never experienced a butt-pucker moment behind the wheel of a race car before, imagine if you will that you’re behind the wheel of a four-second door car when the nitrous system hangs beyond the finish line, sending you hurtling toward the end of the shutdown area at a less-than-comfortable rate of speed. Oh, and your brakes are locked up, too. What do you do? Hang on for dear life.
This was precisely the situation that Tim Albright found himself in at the Ozark Raceway Park’s Street Machine Shootout last weekend. Albright was running his nitrous-fed Chevelle in the Pro Street category and had just put together his best run of the four qualifying attempts with a 4.98 at 142 mph when, as he crossed the 1/8-mile stripe, it quickly became apparent the Chevelle wasn’t slowing down. At all. This, despite the front brakes being completely locked up in what might only be described as a bad luck situation all around for Albright.
Right as the Chevelle crossed the finish line, you see the plume of smoke rolling off the front tires, but the car is still barreling toward the camera. A couple of hundred feet later, the nitrous finally backfires through the carburetors and allows Albright to kill the motor. He then merely has to contend with the front end sliding out of his control…a situation that often ends with a car in the wall or on its roof. Fortunately, he was able to bring the car to s safe stop, climb out, kiss the pavement (we made that part up, but he should) and asses the damage.
Beyond whatever harm amy have been done to the engine, both front tires were fully worn-through to nothing and flatted right down to the wheels. The Urban Hillbilly crew spoke with Albright after the incident, and he confirmed that the nitrous system did remain on, but had no explanation for the front wheels locking up as they did, except perhaps that the line lock had re-engaged. Regardless, Albright was pretty lucky to escape with as litte harm done as he did.