ProTip: Once you’ve seen the first minute of the video, you’ve seen it all. The rest is just replays.
There’s no denying that the US needs more legal places to race. While street racing will always be around, if there’s a local track that’s open, racers have less of an excuse for endangering themselves, other drivers, and innocent bystanders with dangerous and illegal activity on public roads.
Of course, noise restrictions, grumpy neighbors, and cost issues mean that not every community can have a dedicated drag strip close by. That’s why we are generally supportive of finding alternative places to race, like the Atlanta Motor Speedway Friday Night Drags. While it’s impossible to take all the danger out of racing, tech inspections, no cross traffic, and paramedics standing by all certainly help ensure that racers will be around a lot longer to keep enjoying the sport.
Unfortunately, repurposed venues like Atlanta’s eighth-mile pit road dragstrip can have their own unique drawbacks, as we see in this video. In the near lane, a streetish-looking Corvette takes on a wheel-lofting Mustang on the far side of the track, and the Ford gets out to an early lead. Down-track, though, things go wrong as the Corvette drifts right and puts a wheel off into the grass.
At a conventional dragstrip, the incident would lead to some shredded plastic and possibly a bit of suspension damage to the C5, and not much more. But at AMS, the radical difference in drag coefficient between grass and asphalt spins the Chevy across the track and into contact with the Mustang, and we see both cars pirouette down-track. The Corvette takes the worst of it, nosing into the wall at the edge of the far lane before scrubbing off speed and straightening out.
It’s a crash that definitely sucked for all involved, but at least everyone walked away, and had things gone really wrong, help would have immediately been available. Let’s hope that both racers have their cars patched up and back “on track” soon.