Jeremy Ray is one of the good guys on the NHRA Mello Yello drag racing series tour. Competing in the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod series, he runs a lean operation, racing with his wife, mom, and dad. He has won national events and his car, “The Carolina Kingpin” is a fan favorite for its beautiful paint and cool name. On Sunday at the NHRA Heartland Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park, Jeremy Ray suffered the worst crash of his NHRA racing career. He was able to walk away but was taken to the hospital for observation. He was back at the drag strip on Sunday evening, sore but intact.
As you will see, Ray’s car pushes left off the starting line and when it puts one rear tire out of the groove the car rotates on its axis, catches some air under it, and comes across the track, narrowly missing the accelerating Erica Enders as she sprinted down the other side of the strip. It was so close that Enders could actually see Jeremy get out of shape and start to make the turn toward her before she lost him in her visual path.
The Tommy Mauney built Corvette smashed into the wall in a very scary position, on the driver’s side door. That was abnormal and put Ray at extreme risk because of the fact that the only thing keeping him safe was steel tubing and roll bar padding. There was no other part of the chassis to absorb the impact.
Thankfully all of the safety systems worked and Jeremy Ray was able to walk away. Will he race in Bristol this weekend? Rumor has it that there’s other car at the shop which might be used. He’s as hardcore as they come and we’ll be interested to see what happens next.