Dusty Rose Funny Car Fire Photo Sequence. Could Be Worst We’ve Ever Seen!

Dusty Rose Funny Car Fire Photo Sequence. Could Be Worst We’ve Ever Seen!

This could be the worst fire we’ve ever seen in a Funny Car, and it happened during the very first run Dusty Rose ever had in competition. Talk about bad luck. But thankfully he is alive and well, with very minor injuries considering the situation. Big thanks to Bad Brad Klassen and Patrick “Red” Williams for getting us the great shots and story.

(Photos by Bad Brad Klaassen and Patrick Red Williams, words by Bad Brad)

Dusty Rose from Moore, Oklahoma began his drag racing career in the Jr. drag racing league seventeen years ago. He then advanced to quicker door cars and currently races his NE 3 front engine dragster in the Texas base Southwest Heritage Racing Association where he became the NE 3 class champion in both 2014 and 2015. So, when he was given the opportunity to live out a lifelong dream of piloting a nostalgia nitro funny car he jumped at the chance.



The newly licensed nostalgia nitro funny car pilot matched up against the legendary Blue Max nitro funny car for Rose’s first competition pass of his career at TRP’s Nostalgia Nitro Nationals and literally got a baptism by fire he’ll never forget. The car launched good on a soft pass and dropped number eight cylinder at about five hundred feet. No big deal. Fuel cars are finicky like that. But, as Dusty continued down track the car kept pulling. Right before the finish is when his dream of being a nitro funny car driver became a real life and death nightmare. All cylinders went dead and everyone waited for the explosion that was sure to occur and it did! But, no one expected to witness the fire that ensued, including Dusty. Rose immediately hit the fuel shut off and chutes like a heavily seasoned funny car driver followed by activating the fire bottles because he knew he was in trouble. In total blindness he was attempting to stop the car for an exit from the inferno he was engulfed in when the intensity of the fire melted the tube supplying him with fresh air to his helmet. Dusty then attempted to take a breath through his filtered race helmet but to no avail. The fire was so intense by then it was consuming all the oxygen leaving none for him to survive. Rose knew if he didn’t exit the still moving car he might not survive so at approximately 40 – 60 mph he bailed out the escape hatch landing head first while rolling across the track on fire.

The Blue Max owner/driver Ronny Young was the first to his side to help put out the remaining flames on Rose and calm him down until TRP’s safety crew reached him. Amazingly this story has a very happy ending. Dusty spent Saturday night in a Tulsa hospital burn center for treatment of the injuries he sustained and was released to go home Sunday. Rose has 1st and 2nd degree burns to both knees and 3rd degree burns to his right hand that will require surgery. He went live on social media Sunday afternoon to show his ruined safety equipment and to thank all the manufactures of his equipment for helping save his life. Dusty wanted to thank his family for all their support. Especially his wife Tara and dad Milt. Also thanks to all the fellow racers and friends for checking on him after the accident. He greatly appreciates everyone’s support and he’ll be back on the track at full throttle again next season. As for me, I got to have lunch with my brother on Thursday. One of the best lunches I’ve ever had in my life, and the BBQ was good too.

See you at the drags.

Bad Brad

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6 thoughts on “Dusty Rose Funny Car Fire Photo Sequence. Could Be Worst We’ve Ever Seen!

  1. Richard

    This might have been the most perfect looking 70s F/C running today. What a fantastic job they did building this machine. I don’t know why it had dual mags on a Nostalgia car though. There’s way more to this story.

    1. b

      every “nostalgia” replica they build w side skirts just ruins the whole car, the evil 70s stance is just lost. rather see slower more accurate cars than aero sticker’d and skirted things. this is being said independent of this driver, hope for speedy recovery.

  2. TSK

    I was on the starting line when that FC went up in flames. Check the top end pictures. What is missing?
    How about truck to fight the fire and an ambulance for the driver?
    That car burned for a long, long time before the fire was extinguished.
    The ambulance didn’t get there until about 5 to 10 minutes after the fire truck.
    It was a Tulsa fire truck that was called in only after the track workers could not put out the fire.
    I’ve been going to races for 50+ years and that was by far the worst fire I’ve ever witnessed.

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