Throwback To When Cruz Pedregon Almost Went Flying In His Funny Car!
Two time NHRA Funny Car world champion Cruz Pedregon has been on some wild rides ...
Two time NHRA Funny Car world champion Cruz Pedregon has been on some wild rides throughout his long and successful career. However, his several-hundred-feet-long downtrack wheelstand from the 2016 fall race in Las Vegas.
Racing against tough competitor Robert Hight, Pedregon staged his Toyota Camry and blasted off on what looked to be a picture perfect run, at least until he got to half track. As the clutch locked up and all 11,000 horsepower were applied to the massive rear tires, the nose of the car lifted in what can only be describes as a half-track wheelie. The body of the car, a lightweight composite shell, became more like a high-dollar parachute at that point, catching the air and keeping the car up off the ground and almost gliding for some 400 feet or so. The car’s wheelie bars were the only point of contact with the ground for a time, and likely kept the car from tipping to one side or the other and crashing.
Instead, the car stood up, flew, and returned to earth rather gracefully, although the impact of falling from several feet in the air in a car that has only the air in the tires for suspension looks to have put Cruz’s back in a bit of a pinch, as you can see when he climbs from the car. However, I believe Pedregon and everybody else who has seen this video, which has now been viewed almost 1.7 million times, knows just how lucky he was that the car remained steady and didn’t end up in much worse shape. We’ve all seen footage of what happens when a car flips completely over, and those crashes always start out about like this one.
The car could have easily caught wind under either side and rolled sideways in the air, sending Cruz on a 200+ MPH tumble through the shut down area, so the fact that it simply landed squarely in the middle of the lane and that Pedregon actually won the round is nothing sort of spectacular.