Prolong Super Lubricants Spring Nationals by Parts Pro Pit Notes, Sunday, June 8, 1997 Comments from Paul Romine after his Top Fuel dragster experienced the second-ever 'Blowover' at Bristol Dragway during second round eliminations at the 33rd...
Prolong Super Lubricants Spring Nationals by Parts Pro Pit Notes, Sunday, June 8, 1997
Comments from Paul Romine after his Top Fuel dragster experienced the second-ever 'Blowover' at Bristol Dragway during second round eliminations at the 33rd annual Prolong Super Lubricants Spring Nationals presented by Parts Pro. Romine ran 5.905, 141.08 on the pass, which top-qualifier Bruce Litton won 5.128, 239.40. Litton's engine burst into flames when he got back into the throttle to avoid becoming part of Romine's crash. Doug Foxworth experienced the first Top Fuel blowover at Bristol Dragway's Spring Nationals in 1993.
What caused the blowover? "I don't know what the cause of it is. We don't know if a front canard (front wing) broke or what happened. I had no indication that anything was going to happen. Normally you get to make a choice. I didn't have one. If the wheels start to come up you've got some options by using the brake or the throttle, but there wasn't any options on this deal. She was just coming up and really at that time it came up so fast and got so high that my concern then was that I was getting air. Then it turns from being a wheelstand to being a blowover. The only thing you can do at that point is just hang on because you don't have any control from that point on."
Do you have another car? "We've got a new car ordered and that's really up to the chassis builder. I know that we've kinda been right up at the front of the line. We'll have to do some scrambling around. We'll find something. We're just going to have to go back to the shop and regroup and see what's cooking. We'll be back, there's no question about that. It's just a matter of when and how we do it."
It looked like the car was really on a pass? "Oh man, she was making a move. We've been struggling all weekend with some new clutch parts. We knew we would be on a good one that time. We've been just feeling our way through it. That's why you didn't see any big number passes. She was on a big number pass, no question about it. It was just one of those deals. That's why we all wear helmets."
Can you describe what you saw when it happened? "I don't really know. The first thing I saw was the front-end was up high enough to where I could see blue sky. It's kind of a conditioned deal. When you're in that position you're just along for the ride. The best thing to do is just get down and hold on because there's not a thing you can do. The only thing I can remember is that it was going up and I felt it go inverted. I knew the front end probably hit inverted. From then on I knew it kinda rolled. I knew I was staying on the right side of the track. Then I was just waiting for it to stop. When they hit they make noise. When they're real quiet you want them to hurry up and make noise again because if they're real quiet for a long time that means you're way up in the air. I didn't want to be way up in the air. As it came to a rest on the right side I thought 'I can get out of this thing. I felt OK. Then I saw the fuel starting to run out of it and I decided to exit."
You were scrambling pretty quick to get away from the wreckage. "Yeah, I've been knocked out racing sprint cars and stuff before. I know what that's all about. I didn't lose consciousness. I've got a little headache but I was OK. These things are very well constructed. The safety gears are good. I spend a lot of time getting in the car and getting strapped in and I'm tight as can be."
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