Courtesy of ESPN, here’s stunning footage of Top Fuel champ Antron Brown’s crash at the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona.
Brown, the current NHRA Top Fuel champion, took this incredible ride when his engine grenaded at the finish line in his round-two match against David Grubnic. Fortunately, he walked away unscathed, though his Matco Tools-sponsored rail was a total loss.
The fireball shredded both rear tires and sent Brown’s dragster, at that point traveling over 300 mph, into the left-side wall rear-first, where the wheelie bars took out a section of concrete. Traveling backward, Brown then rode down the impact along the opposite wall and into the sand trap at the end of the strip.
This was the second consecutive round at Pomona in which the Don Schumacher Racing entry suffered a major engine mishap. On the previous lap, the 8,000+ hp nitro-fueled engine had come unhinged, lifting the blower and injector assembly.
The crash was the first significant test of DSR’s driver canopy, introduced on teammate Tony Schumacher’s car last season. Brown credited the canopy (left) with sparing him injury from flying debris. “The windshield is five-eighths-of-an-inch thick,” said Brown. “Nothing got to me. When I hit the sand trap, I saw stones flying all over the place, but I didn’t get dusty, nothing got into me. It really, really did its job.”