The motorsport world has been left stunned after two drag racers walked away unscathed after their cars blew up within an hour of one another at a meet in the U.S. over the weekend.
Spectators at the NHRA Midwest Nationals in Madison, Illinois were gobsmacked after both Leah Pruett’s top fuel dragster and Alexis DeJoria’s funny car were involved in serious accidents less than an hour apart.
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Pruett was the first of the pair to hang on for dear life when the front end of her car dramatically split from the rest of the chassis, pitching her into the air at just over 500 kilometres per hour.
The massive crash had the commentary team for the event out of their seats and thankful Pruett walked away from the massive crash unscathed.
She had been all but alongside rival Tony Schumacher when her car suffered its major malfunction.
“That was the craziest thing I’ve seen, it was like the whole front of the car just disintegrated down there!” the commentator said.
“Leah’s car has come to a stop and she is already opening the capsule and Leah Pruett climbs out of what’s left of that race car.
“Holy smokes. Those two were glued together, and then stuff started flying. We’ve seen that a couple of times but not for a number of years.”
Speaking after the crash, Pruett said the fact that she was able walk away uninjured was a credit to the safety standards of drag racing.
2020 is a wild ride. Thank you everyone for all your love and concern. I'm grateful to say that I'm safe and very much okay after that round two rodeo. #MidwestNats @OfficialMOPAR @shoeracing @NHRA pic.twitter.com/GunnBbyyej— Leah Pruett (@LeahPruett_TF) October 4, 2020
“One thing I know I’m haulin’ ass, the next thing I know I’m sky high like I’m flying. I just held on and I knew this wasn’t going to be good,” she said when interviewed afterwards.
“But honestly I have to say, this sounds so weird - the amount of confidence I had in the car, and I knew what was about to happen, I’ve seen every crash that’s probably ever been in drag racing.”
Drag meet stunned by two massive crashes
Just a short time later, DeJoria’s engine suffered a massive failure, blowing up and sending bodywork flying across the drag strip and the driver helplessly bouncing around as the car eventually came to a stop thanks to its parachutes.
Incredibly, DeJoria won her heat despite the failure, and even went on to compete in the next heat soon after.
“Alexis climbed out of the car under her own power. I would very much like to not have to say that any more today,” the relieved commentator said after the crash.
DeJoria took to social media to thank fans for their concern afterwards, having topped 510 kph in the seconds before the shunt.
“Had a bad one today! Huge heartfelt thank you to the teams that pitched in to get us to the semi-finals,” she wrote.
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