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:
Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.
Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?
Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!
Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden
Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.
Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)
Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.
Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.
Follow: Jerry Bonkowski