Sometimes the most outrageous things occur at the most unexpected times.
NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps was minding his own business, just motoring along on what should have been another routine qualifying pass Friday at the season-opening Circle K Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., when he experienced every Funny Car driver’s worst nightmare:
A motor explosion — and resulting fire.
The explosion blew off the entire top of Capps’ NAPA Funny Car, but thanks to NHRA’s fire suppression safety features built into race cars, the blaze was fairly short-lived.
Fortunately, the veteran driver was unhurt.
Check out video of the explosion, courtesy of the NHRA, from a number of different angles:
Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test
The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.
Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.
Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.
Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.
The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.