When you’re sitting on top of a 500 cui (8.19-litre) V8 developing up to ~8000 hp, you’d better be prepared for flight, not for racing.
Sunday’s first round of eliminations started pretty normal for NHRA Funny car champion (and veteran) Cruz Pedregon, but things quickly became much more interesting once the green light flashed, as the racing driver inadvertently pulled one of the most impressive stunts in the sport’s history.
Since they’re capable of going through the 1000-foot (304 meters) drag course in less than 4.5 seconds (some do it in less than 4), Funny Cars have to be equipped with wheelie bars in order to keep them from flipping over during their tremendous accelerations off the line.
This time, the same component allowed Pedregon to finish his run safely after his car pulled the mother lode of all wheelies at the 339 ft mark (103-metre), and touched down at 1,121 ft. (341-meters). What’s more impressive is that the experienced driver didn’t lose his composure, crossing the line with half the car still in the air, 4.2 seconds after he launched it from standstill.
“Thankfully, when I landed, I was going straight. I turned on the win light, and all I could do is shake my head because I had just got a three-for-one deal: I survived, got the win-light and didn’t get hurt,” said Cruz Pedregon.
Unfortunately, the damage sustained by the car didn’t allow him to continue racing in the quarterfinals.
H/T to NBC Sports!
Per the data…front wheel came off the ground at 339ft. Touched back down at 1,121ft.
— Cruz Pedregon (@CruzPedregon) October 31, 2016