Parachute failure ends Anderson's weekend early MORRISON, Colo. - A vehicle traveling 240 mph is covering the length of a football field per second. Thus the need for parachutes to slow a NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car after a quarter-mile run.
Parachute failure ends Anderson's weekend early
MORRISON, Colo. - A vehicle traveling 240 mph is covering the length of a football field per second. Thus the need for parachutes to slow a NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car after a quarter-mile run. Rookie Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot Paul Anderson didn't have the luxury of his parachutes to slow him after the first qualifying session of this past weekend's Division 5 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Bandimere Speedway just outside of Denver. Anderson ran through the sand trap and three safety nets at the end of the track after his parachutes failed to deploy and brakes failed following a 238 mph run.
The 21 year old Anderson, a former five-time Jr. Dragster Champion, from Denver, feels a change in the driver's compartment lead to the accident.
"I just started wearing the new Hutchens device," said Anderson. "I guess it changed the way I sit in the car and I wasn't able to push the parachute levers all the way open. I didn't feel the chutes hit, so I grabbed the brake. I didn't feel that stopping it any, so at that point, I was just along for the ride. Apparently, one of the brake rotors came apart."
Top Alcohol Funny Car legend Vern Moats, Anderson's mentor, had just completed his run and was already in the shutdown area. He was one of the first on the scene. Anderson's car went through the sand trap and all three catch nets at the end of the track.
"Vern got to me and told me he still won," recalled Anderson. "I asked him what he was talking about. He told me when he ran off the end of the track last year he went through the sand trap, all three nets, and all the way up the hill. He said I only went half way up the hill. It was good to have a little humor in a time like that."
Anderson escaped the ride with no injuries, but the same cannot be said for his racecar.
"It hurt the car pretty bad," explained Anderson. "We're going to have to front half the chassis, and the body is junk. Depending on how quickly we can find another body to put on it will dictate how soon we get back on the track. In the mean time, after this, we'll really get aggressive in trying to obtain new marketing partners."
Anderson is also quick to thank those who helped him and his team through the situation.
"I have to give a huge thanks to the Safety Safari," stated Anderson. "You would be hard pressed to find nicer people in a time of panic. I also have to thank the RFC Chaplain, he was there at the hospital until they released me. I have to thank the other teams at the track that helped my dad load everything up after the wreck. There was enough teams over there helping dad had everything loaded in 30 minutes."