As Robert Hight rocketed down the drag strip at zMax Dragway in Charlotte Saturday, his funny car’s engine exploded, ejecting the car’s carbon fiber body high into the air. Video shows the lightweight piece of wreckage falling like a torn kite in the breeze before landing on a pedestrian walkway, directly in front of spectator seating.
Luckily, only two fans were treated for minor scrapes and were released from an onsite care center at the raceway.
"I asked where the body landed and they said, 'In the stands,' " Hight told USA TODAY Sports after his run.”It was like, 'Oh, man…' But they came back to me real quick and said no one was injured and everybody is good. That's not what you want (to) have happening."
As can be seen in spectator video shot from the stands, fans were obviously jolted when the car body dropped from the sky into their midst, but upon the realization no one was seriously injured, a relieved color commentary began in the North Carolina crowd. Around the 1-minute mark of the video a man can be heard yelling, “I didn’t spill my beer, it’s okay!”
The relatively fortunate outcome of the incident brings to mind the wreck that took place at the Daytona International Speedway in February, when Kyle Larson’s car flew into the catchfence launching debris into the stands. At least 28 fans were injured.