Ford Maverick Drag Racer Immediately Crashes Into the Lights on ‘Mustang Night’

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We’ve all read the jokes about Mustangs and crowds, but have you heard the one about the Maverick? Ford’s compact “import fighter” of the ’70s (which might be making its return as a compact pickup) is apparently just as efficient at taking out its surroundings as its older brother, so when it came to show off at the track’s Mustang-themed night, of course there would be a bit of sibling rivalry.
Every week at Sacramento Raceway Park’s Wednesday night “fun drags” event-a night reserved for newcomers and veterans to take their car to the track-they reserve a lane for a special theme. Some weeks it’s for high schoolers, others for trucks and occasionally for models of specific cars with large followings. This week just happened to be for Mustangs. A video posted to Instagram shows one driver pull up to the line in his Ford Maverick to send his car down the strip. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. Instead of making a record pass, the driver unintentionally pointed the nose of the muscle car directly at the Christmas tree.
Watching the poor lane attendant throw up his hands in adrenaline-fueled confusion perfectly describes the emotion we all feel watching the clip. Sure, things can go wrong when racing, but typically we’d expect that to happen down the lane rather than the car hold a grudge with the countdown starter. After all, it’s been nearly 60 years since those were first introduced.
A closer look reveals it wasn’t driver error that caused the accident, but instead a failed suspension component. According to an Instagram comment made by someone who witnessed the wreck, something failed at the front-right corner of the car that made the driver unable to steer the passenger-side wheel.
Onlookers noted that that the driver walked away without any major injuries other than a bruised ego.
The incident appears to have stopped the racing for the rest of the night. One person commented on the raceway’s Facebook page after reportedly driving five hours and arriving at a dark drag strip. What’s worse is that it happened ahead of the track’s 50th annual Governor’s Cup event which is set to take place over the weekend. Sacramento Raceway posted the video of the crash to its Facebook page as well with a witty caption of “lights, camera, traction!” Fortunately, it appears the track will have access to a new tree and the small hiccup won’t ruin the anniversary of one of its longest-running events.
And even if they couldn’t replace the lights in time, might we suggest a temporary return to a retro flagger for the 50th anniversary? In case you haven’t heard, old school is in for 2020.
While some accidents are unavoidable, this should serve as a reminder for racers to thoroughly prep their car for the track. Make sure all crucial components are in good working order and rated for whatever power you plan to throw at them. Some things are easy to miss, and that’s how accidents like this happen-luckily, it was in a controlled environment.
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