Did you know that a Top Fuel dragster packs a beastly engine that can churn out as much as 10,000 horsepower? Yeah, you read that right. That’s a one, followed by four zeroes. With this sort of power, racers can cover the dragstrip in less than 3.7 seconds at more than 330 MPH. This sort of power can obviously be extremely clutch when it comes to crossing the finish line as fast as possible. On the other hand, as you can see in the above video, this sort of power can also be pretty damn terrifying in a crash scenario.
Back in May 2016, drag racer Terry McMillen went head-to-head against Tony Schumacher at the NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Houston. Due to a mechanical engine failure, McMillen’s ride erupted into flames. The explosion led to a blown left rear tire, and he was sent hard into the guardwall in his lane in a towering fireball and shower of sparks. Thankfully, and miraculously, McMillen was able to walk away unharmed from the potentially deadly blast.
Even in the midst of the fiery chaos, McMillen made sure to turn his steering wheel to keep the dragster against the wall rather than risk crossing the centerline and ramming into Schumacher.
“I wasn’t about to go into Tony [Schumacher’s] lane,” McMillen said in an interview after the crash. “Once it got into the wall, I just wanted it to stay there until it got stopped. I’m not hurt, except for my feelings.”
Even after all that craziness, McMillen was back and racing in his dragster just two weeks later. Wow. This is why drag racers are on a whole other level of badass.
This post was originally published on May 12, 2016.