The parachute has been an integral part of stopping fast drag racing machinery for more than 50 years now. The science behind their function has been proven time and time again. Unfortunately, they don’t work worth a lick when they aren’t mounted right.
The photo sequence below was shot by New England Dragway’s track photographer Denis Leblanc. The subject is a pretty nasty little altered powered by a blown big block Chevy called aptly, “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”. I’ve been announcing this car locally for about 10 years now and for a bunch of them there was lots of bad and ugly and little good. That being said, the team has made great strides over the last couple seasons and has themselves a consistent, low 7-second ride that has become a threat to win.
On this particular run, things went from awesome to really bad for Tebo after the finish line. With a clean lap completed, Tebo hit the ‘chute lever and deployed his primary parachute which promptly flew off the car because it had not been mounted properly. For whatever reason, it appears that Tebo went for the brakes instead of his secondary parachute and bounced the car for nearly 1/4 mile before putting it deep into the sand trap off the end of the track.
It looked like curatains for the team as the car and everything attached to it was full of sand, including the motor. I nearly fell out of the timing tower about two hours later when the car pulled around the bend for the second round of qaulifying. Not only did the stinkin’ thing run, it ran quicker!
Tenacious and crazy drag racers are a rare breed. These guys are totally amongst their ranks. Here are the photos from Action Racing Photos.
Here are a series of photos documenting a wacky afternoon in the life of a drag team.