Pete Berner has been a mountain motor pro stock racer for years. He ran very strongly in the IHRA when I was an announcer over there in the 2000s and his career went back into the 1990s as well. In this video we are going to see the worst ride that Berner ever took in a race car. Yeah, the trackside camera takes us front row to see Peter Berner suffer a massive pro stock crash at the 1999 IHRA Winternationals. The season opener for IHRA was at Darlington for decades and it was often plagued by weather as it happened in the mercurial and sometimes wet winter months in South Carolina.
While we cannot see the events immediately preceding Berner’s high speed face plant into the guardrail we can guess that his car suffered the same rough aerodynamic qualities that often times afflict pro stock cars. A distinct lack of downforce means that any time the car wants to wash out, especially at the top end, the driver is virtually powerless.
Once the car hits the guardrail, as you’d imagine, things get bad. The car ends up outside the track and in the grass going through a series of violent snap rolls and flips. In fact, that part of the program was so catastrophic that it rips the engine out of the car and breaks the entire front clip off! The only thing protecting Berner’s legs by the end of this were the inner cage structure of the car and the firewall.
You’ll see Pete on a stretcher and talking to the medical personnel. He would recover from this and get back into the world of mountain motor pro stock racing but when you pile up a car at the first race it has to be a heartbreaker and a wallet breaker to boot.