Baytown: Urs Erbacher final report

Erbacher okay after massive engine explosion in Houston HOUSTON (March 29) -- Four-time FIA champion Urs Erbacher survived a massive engine explosion in the first round of Sunday's eliminations at Houston Raceway Park that destroyed his Century...

Erbacher okay after massive engine explosion in Houston

HOUSTON (March 29) -- Four-time FIA champion Urs Erbacher survived a massive engine explosion in the first round of Sunday's eliminations at Houston Raceway Park that destroyed his Century Asphalt Top Fuel dragster. Despite ample engine carnage, a shredded rear tire, and the destruction of at least a third of his rear wing, Erbacher was uninjured in the incident and managed to get his car to a safe stop beyond the finish line.

"Thank you to Brad Hadman because he saved my life today," Erbacher said, referring to the respected chassis builder. "We started this year with a brand Hadman car and I hope it's not damaged too bad. At least we know the safety components all work.

"We had a great race going and I didn't see Larry (Dixon, opponent). I was about to start celebrating when there was a big boom from the engine and then it all broke loose. I've never experienced something that bad. I was just concentrating so hard on staying in my lane because I did not want to interfere with Larry and to get the car stopped. Thankfully, no one was hurt. We can always repair the car."

The explosion negated what would have been a very close finish. At the last timing cone prior to the finish line, Erbacher and Dixon were dead even.

"Larry is a two-time world champion on they NHRA circuit and he won the last race in Gainesville (Florida) so we had the car loaded for this race," Erbacher said. "It turns out that it broke a valve in the engine and that was the difference. It's not the best thing you want to happen at 300 mph.

"I'm sorry to the fans and the other racers to have such a long clean-up time. The real work will begin now for the team because we want to race in Las Vegas in a few days so we have so much to do. We'll have the car stripped down and inspect it from end to end to make sure it's safe. If not, we have last year's car right here in Baytown at our American shop so we can switch to it if necessary."

-credit: uepr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Urs Erbacher