This weekend, one of the world’s best and most stunning drag strips, Bristol Dragway will host the NHRA Fitzgerald USA Thunder Valley Nationals. The track that opened in 1965 and sits in a literal wedge between two mountains will be packed up with fans as it has been for years and years. This time, we’re checking out a video that was shot during the many, many years that the track operated under IHRA sanction. Back in 1993 top fuel racer Doug Foxworth suffered a massive blow over during eliminations and while he was unharmed, it was a rough ride. Weirdly, it would be Foxworth in the other lane about a year later when well known top fuel racer Jimmy Nix was killed in a wreck. But back to the video below.
The footage starts with a crash, but not a blow over. The crash we see first is Foxworth running down the track next to California racer John Carey when Carey looks to suffer a tire failure at the stripe. He gets into Foxworth’s car and while Carney got the worst of it, Foxworth’s machine also go dinged. That’s why it is so surprising to see Foxworth’s Havoc dragster completing a burnout for round one eliminations and staging up. Note that the front wing was replaced, likely borrowed from another team.
On the run, things see to be going pretty well until they aren’t. The car starts to get some air under it because of a high speed wheelie and away it goes. Did the front wing fail? Was the thing at a weird angle? No one will ever really know but what we do know is that Foxworth’s car was decimated in the wreck.
Bristol has incredible history and this blow over is just about a one off event for the place that has been open for 53 years. Even crazier? This was the last blow over the sport of drag racing would see until 1996, no matter the sanction. Wild, right?