Nitro Fueled Mishaps Video: Here’s What Happens When The Most Volatile Race Fuel On Earth Goes Bad

Nitro Fueled Mishaps Video: Here’s What Happens When The Most Volatile Race Fuel On Earth Goes Bad

The title of this video is “Don’t Play With Nitro!” and frankly there has never been more sage advice given by anyone over the years. Here you are going to see some of the craziest stuff that has happened over the years with nitro fueled race cars. Now this is certainly not a complete list because on a damned near weekly basis there’s another situation where someone learns a lesson about nitromethane. Sometimes those lessons are more positive than others.

So the notable moments in this one are certainly Kenny Bernstein running over his crew and the infamous Scott Weiss top fuel explosion behind the starting line at the US Nationals. That moment is what we captured for the lead photo of this blog item. When the team went to turn the engine over as they all do before they attempt to start the car there was nitro in one of the cylinders. That nitro combined with the pressure exerted on it by the rising piston and the latent heat left in the engine from warming it up caused the thing to explode. The violence of the explosion is even worse than it normally is on the track because of the fact that the valves are closed instead of one being hung open so the basically blows the head off the block and sends stuff flying. You’ll see that a crewman got dinged up by flying debris in this one. Bad deal.

There’s actually two of those style incidents in this video. You’ll see a young Jim Oberhoffer talking to Dave Reiff about their car spitting the bit at Reading when they went to start it years ago.

Nitro is awesome but boy it can reach up and bite you when you never see it coming.

Press play below to see this video filled with nitro fueled mishaps over the years –

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5 thoughts on “Nitro Fueled Mishaps Video: Here’s What Happens When The Most Volatile Race Fuel On Earth Goes Bad

  1. Cletus T Rickenbacher 3rd

    20 some years ago, I was a participant in the drag boat races in Augusta Ga. I was running a gas boat and was pitted about 50 feet from a fuel boat. When the fuel boat spun over their motor it instantly blew up. The sound was like nothing I had heard since my time in basic training.

  2. Michael wall

    I was sitting in top eliminator club for the Scott weis deal at Indy. Still remember the parts bouncing off the stands.

  3. Pizzandoughnuts

    My wife and I were sitting at the now defunct Speedworld in Arizona, a top fuel car rolled up for a test n tune. Hooked everything up, spun the starter and kaboom, huge side panel, oil pan and misc parts flew easily 40 ft in the air, just missed us and others. It was loud as hell and luckily no one was seriously injured.

  4. Andy Geelhoed

    I was in the top elim club also. This thing left a dent in the seat back right next to me. When I looked down there was a piece of steel laying next to me. Piece of cyl head stud. 1 1/2 in long. I have that piece on my desk today. Another guy about 15 feet away started yelling and we found out he was hit in the ribs by a crescent shaped thing (top of cylinder sleeve) He was bleeding a little bit. Nhra medics came up into the stands and quickly ushered him out.

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