During Saturday night’s second qualifying round of the day, Funny Car driver Robert Hight suffered a spectacular explosion that destroyed the body of his AAA-sponsored Chevrolet Camaro.
The President of John Force Racing, Hight had a slight edge over Dave Richards in the other lane when the engine blew up at about three-quarters of the way down the 1,000 foot drag strip.
“This thing was marching along pretty good,” said Hight, who was uninjured. “It didn’t give me any indication anything was wrong.”
But there was something wrong prior to the run, as Hight initially struggled to get his car started.
Just before Hight would have been forced to abandon the run per NHRA rules because it wasn’t ready to race Richards, he was able to get it going and made the run.
Through the first three qualifying rounds (one on Friday and two on Saturday), Hight is sitting eighth. Richards, meanwhile, is 14th. There will be two more qualifying rounds on Sunday.
During its layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, MotoGP will become the latest racing series to enter the virtual world.
The MotoGP Virtual Race will be held at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, March 29 with 10 riders. It will be streamed on several platforms, including the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel. Reigning series champion Marc Marquez is among the riders in the field.
The premier class of MotoGP has yet to hit the track this season as its opener was canceled and the next three races were postponed, including the Grand Prix of the Americas being moved from April 5 to Nov. 15.
Several other racing series have tried online racing in recent weeks.
IMSA held a “SuperSaturday at Sebring” March 21 in place of the postponed Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. NASCAR started its Pro Invitational Series last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will continue Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. IndyCar kicked off its six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge with a Saturday race at Watkins Glen International that was won by Sage Karam.