Jack Beckman is looking to wrap up his first-ever NHRA Funny Car title, and it appears an exploding car is not going to slow him down. Half-way through this qualifying run on Thursday, a spectacular explosion destroyed his car's Dodge bodywork, engulfing Beckman in a ball of flames while traveling at almost 300 miles per hour. Fortunately, Beckman was not injured in the explosion (although he did lose an eyebrow from the fire) and he actually went on to win the race with a 4.117-second ETA at 273 mph, qualifying him fifth for this weekend's race at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

Despite losing most of the car's body and having a visor covered in oil, Beckman was able to deploy the parachutes and bring was left of his Charger funny car safely to a stop. In the video, you can actually see him shielding the fire from his face as he tries to get the car slowed down, and then once stopped, he hops out of the cockpit waving to the crowd. After the car comes to a rest, we get a good look at how underneath their funny car body shells, these racers actually resemble the classic rear-seat dragsters from the good ol' days.

According to ESPN, the team has a spare body for the car and will be able to race. As for the missing eyebrow, well only time will fix that. Scroll down to watch the amazing video which includes a slow-motion look at the incident as well as an in-car view that shows exactly what Beckman saw.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      ThomasP
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Dude! Where's my car?!"
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      mawhalen53
      • 2 Years Ago
      That wasn't very funny at all! /dadjokes
      gfviperman
      • 2 Years Ago
      MOPAR Wins!!!!!! All that matters .....
        threefortyduster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @gfviperman
        Mopar's most likely going to win the title in FC (Beckman 1, Capps (napa car) 4 points behind him) and Allen Johnson is qualified number 2 in Pro Stock, which will clinch the Championship for him. Keselowski has a good chance to win the NASCAR title, it's shaping up as a good year for Mopar.
          dukeisduke
          • 2 Years Ago
          @threefortyduster
          Pretty amazing. It looks like the explosion blew most of the flames out, along with the speed going down the track, but I'm sure the fire suppression system helped. And the burst panel is an interesting idea, a different way to cope with the problems that caused Top Fuelers to switch to rear engine designs in the late '60s.
      William Miller
      • 2 Years Ago
      smoky)
      jonnybimmer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Never seen a driver so casually walk away from a car that exploded. Makes me wonder though, do Funny Cars feature fire suppressant systems or is there so little fuel on board that all of it burned away in the explosion? It looked like there was some extinguishing system that was turned on right after the explosion, but that could have just been the smoke from the fire/tires.
        threefortyduster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        Yes they have a fire suppression system, when you see one with the body up, the bottles are mounted right by the front tires. What happened in this case was probably like it commonly happens....the motor drops a valve, the cylinder fills with fuel, lots of boost, BIG BOOM. These motors are tuned so on the edge of blowing up at any moment that if something goes wrong no matter how small, it creates a big boom. Most of the time, just the burst panel which is mounted directly over the top of the blower takes the brunt and blows itself sky high (it's a CF panel about 18" x 18"), that was designed to keep the bodies from blowing up and flying off. It's not a perfect system, but it has really reduced the number of catastrophic body damage issues. They did that because in one year they had like 4 or 5 bodies fly off the cars and almost go into the stands. It's amazing what an 8000 HP engine blowing up can do to a 250 lb carbon fiber body...blowing them 40 feet in the air in some cases. As far as walking away calmly...happens all the time. The safety gear these guys run is incredible. From the padding inside their cockpit, their SFI 5 layer firesuits, etc, they're pretty well protected. The biggest thing they have to get to used to is the sound and concussion of the boom...nothing can really prepare you for that, when it goes from a normal pass to blowing the living hell out of the car in less than a second.
          Typesbad
          • 2 Years Ago
          @threefortyduster
          Thanks for the info. THIS is what Autoblog is all about. And I'll always remember my brother's 340 Duster.
      chromal
      • 2 Years Ago
      On an (unrelated?) note, I tried using their sponsor's product, NextGen (recycled) motor oil, in a Honda D16Y8 engine. It spun a rod bearing eight miles after the oil change. COINCIDENCE? :)
        bimmers50e30
        • 2 Years Ago
        @chromal
        All honda D16Yx series engies are prone to spining rod bearings. due to an undersized oil pump and cost saving measures in crankshaft manufacturing. You'll get 100k out of them, but after that it's luck. Running 10w-40 sometimes helps. I recommend, wireing the crank sensor to the dizzy and the using a d15z6 oil pump, and checking/changing the rod bearings. You won't have an oil dip stick tho, you'll have to fudge it or just put 4 qts in and change your oil on time. The proof: try to buy a d16 ro d15 engine from an engine importer... they are pushing $1,000 now because there are none left. they've all exploded.
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow the camera is like WTF
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