U.S. Army driver Tony Schumacher walked away from a spectacular crash in round two today at the Memphis Motorsports Park. The Top Fuel 33-year old driver rode his machine as it buckled and went airborne before crashing back onto the track. The incident happened toward the end of the qualifying run.
Unlike his 2000 accident at Memphis, this time Schumacher was able to walk away from the crash. The dragster landed on its left side sliding before it came to a complete stop. In 2000, Schumacher missed two events due to injuries, this year, he will continue without missing an event.
Larry Dixon who was in the next lane in today's Mid-South Nationals qualifying runs, had a problem with his Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster at the same time. The front wheels lifted causing him to drift toward the center. He lifted and aborted the run.
"I feel bad because this was the car that we ran the 4.465 (quickest run in NHRA history last weekend) at Reading (Pa.) with," commented Schumacher after he was checked and released by NHRA emergency personnel.
"And I hate that the team and Alan (Johnson, crew chief) are going to have to do a lot of work to get the back-up car ready," Schumacher said. "It's a great team and we will do what it takes to get the car ready for tomorrow. I am fine except for a sprained right knee. I am ready to get back in the car and put this day behind us."
Qualifying continues Saturday.