NHRA Driver’s Parachutes Fail To Deploy At 307 MPH, Sending Him Plowing Into Safety Net

NHRA Driver's Parachutes Fail To Deploy At 307 MPH, Sending Him Plowing Into Safety Net

During a round of Funny Car qualifying at the NHRA season opener in Pomona, California, 69-year-old series veteran Gary Densham went barreling through the sand traps and into a safety net after his parachutes failed to deploy.

As ugly as the incident from Saturday competition at the NHRA Winternationals looks, Motorsport.comreports that Densham is OK after checks from emergency-services personnel. Here’s a video of the run from the third round of qualifying, which didn’t end well for Densham’s competitor, Jim Campbell, either:


The impact left Densham’s Dodge Charger R/T tangled and suspended from the safety nets following a career-best run according to Motorsport, with an elapsed time of 4.050 seconds at 307.3 mph. Motorsport reports that cleanup took more than an hour, and Densham said it “tore up a perfectly good race car.”

Densham wound up 11th in the 16-car field with the run, originally slated to compete against Courtney Force in the elimination rounds later this afternoon. According to the NHRA Twitter account, Force now faces Jack Beckman.


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