Best Of 2014: This TV Camera Man Had Never Been Around A Top Fuel Car Before – His Reaction Is Priceless

Best Of 2014: This TV Camera Man Had Never Been Around A Top Fuel Car Before – His Reaction Is Priceless

One of the great pleasures of being a drag racing fan and announcer is the ability to “introduce” nitromethane into people’s lives that have never experienced it before. As much as you try and describe what people are going to see, hear, smell, and feel, there are no words to do it justice and everyone kind of takes it in their own stride. Some people get really freaked by it and kind of cannot handle the full frontal assault anything running on nitro presents to them. Others, like our own Nutting take it in full stride (even if he ran away a couple times). Dave shot the NHRA New England Hot Rod Reunion last year and did a fine job, all the while experiencing nitromethane powered drag iron for the first time.

The other side to this coin is the sneak attack method of introduction where the person has no clue what’s coming and you get to see an honest reaction out of them with no influence from the outside world. That’s where the camera man falls into in this video. Obviously he was sent to this event where a top fuel dragster is being warmed up somewhere in Europe and we’re guessing he isn’t a racing fan. He’s up close to the car with no ear plugs in which is a good indication we’re dealing with a rookie here and secondly, when the crew chief cracks the throttle blades with his hands and the car wings up quickly the guy is literally blown off balance and quickly exits stage left with the clear expression of a man who has just crapped his pants. We’re talking a full load here. The man’s eyes almost leap out of his head like you see in the cartoons.

We can only imagine that conversation when he handed the tape into his editor later that day. “Hans, we watched the tape. Did something happen there to knock you off balance?” Hans would reply, “Yes sir, I crapped my pants.” He would then be mocked and fired.


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7 thoughts on “Best Of 2014: This TV Camera Man Had Never Been Around A Top Fuel Car Before – His Reaction Is Priceless

  1. Bob

    Many years ago when you could get really up close and personal with the cars and the drivers, (they didnt put up barricades between the trailers) I was in Kenny Bernstiens pit and he was sitting in his car, I decided to get a pic of him sitting in the car. I leaned under the body and pointed the camera at him and snapped the photo. What I didnt realize was that they were starting the car. Just as I snapped the photo I heard the starter spin up up the engine. I backed up and the car fired up. It was full face assult. Fire, smoke, raw nitro, soot, and noise. I had been around FCs quite a bit but not quite like that. Instantly my eyes started burning so bad it wasn’t even funny. I turned and moved away from the car but it was way to late. I made my way out of the pit and began walking along behind the row of trailers. I was trying to get out of the nitro fumes. I could only crack one eye open for split seconds to kinda see where I was going. The wind was carrying the fumes in the same diriction I was going. I finally figured that out and crossed the road to the other side of the trailers and was able to open my eyes. I looked over and saw my wife (she started out standing right next to me) was still trying to get away from the fumes as well but was walking in them as I was and was having trouble being able to see as well. I ran over and grabbed her and brought to the clear air. I’m sure the pit crew got a really good laugh out of that. Probably got called dumb ass and idiot and maybe a whole lot more. I got a really cool pic but paid a very high price for it. Lol.

  2. malc

    Could that guy holding onto the rear wing struts really do anything if the
    dragster hopped off the stands ?

  3. dave

    The girl in the pink and gray in the top right part of the screen has her ears plugged, and she still jumped. I can relate to that. Even after “the first time”, I still have a hard time not flinching pretty hard every other time I’ve been near it.

  4. jerry z

    My friend and I did this to many other unsuspecting friends at the track when the fuelers were running. Scared the piss out of them!


  5. floating doc

    I guess I missed this one first time around; thanks for reposting!

    All I can tell you is that a fuel engine is so loud that it that has to be something else besides just sound. BTW, it looks to me like the cameraman does have earplugs, as if a set of those little foam jobs are of any use.

    When I’m in the grandstand, wearing proper hearing protectors, I still have to put my hands over the outsides of the muffs. When the cars pass you can feel the compression like someone’s slapping your chest.

    As an example, I offer this experience I had in Gainesville at the Gatornationals. I was across the parking lot from the pits, and next to the road that runs behind the track. Just behind me and across the road was a row of trees, parallel to the road.

    I could hear a fuel car idling in the pits, about a half mile from where we were standing. I was looking in that direction when they cracked the throttle. I could see the shock wave in that intense burst of sound change the appearance of the air as it approached. It was the weirdest thing; I could tell the sound was coming before it got to us. It hit the row of trees, and as it echoed back towards the direction of the pits I could see and feel the shock wave moving away.

    For a moment, it felt like the echo took all of the surrounding air away with it, and I found myself feeling like I should hold my breath for a moment until the air pressure normalized. And that’s a distance of a half mile, and the car was behind a row of transports and not in a direct line of sight!

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