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Randy Walls Inferno

The one major incident of the event was a horrendous fire endured by Randy Walls in his 1969 Nova Funny Car. Since Randy incredibly escaped this inferno with only two very minor burns we will publish this full page of extraordinary pictures taken by several photographers of one of the longest and most intense fires ever seen on a drag strip.

 

 

Randy Walls started the first Funny Car session like any other. Burnout, backup and leave. That would be the only normal thing about this pass!

 

 

 

The event happed early - like at the 300' mark. Now here's how it looked from the starting line as captured by Bob Brown. This shot was taken about the instant the fuel tank erupted.

 

 

 

Note the yellow flames - that isn't oil sports fans - that's nitro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is how it looked from the finish line as caught by Tim Hanaseth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How it looked from the top end stands as shot by John Ewald.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some commentary is compelled here as the guy on the right (behind Tim Hanaseth) is Dan Kaplan who, after 2 hours on the wall took this time to take a relief break and coming back all he could do was look at his camera bag (on left) and Walls going by knowing he'd missed the photo op of the weekend. Dan's a great guy and has taken a lot of ribbing over this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As seen from 1500' by Don Ewald - talk about up close and personal ... the shot below is full frame - no cropping.

 

 

With Walls still in the car, the Safety Safari were all over it.

 

First it was water in the cockpit.

 

 

As Walls climbed out (to many's amazement) they focused the spray on him.

 

 

Once out of the car, Walls was escorted to the truck by Don Irvin to get the very warm firesuit off.

 

 

The first thing Irvin did was to check Randy's mouth and throat to make sure there was no evidence of burns or inhalation. As bad as the car was, the fire bottles did their job.

 

Time to get this thing outta here, clean up and get back to racing.

 

 

 

Check out the fuel tank - no need to ask why this fire was so intense.

 

With Randy in one ambulance, the car goes on the other.

 

 

 

The entire crew jumped in to get the track cleaned.

 

 

 

Blake Bowser hauls ashes to the other side of the guardrail.

 

Steve Gibbs supervises while John and Blake Bowser burn off the remnants of the clean up.

 

These are they guys you want at the top end when you're in trouble!

 

Back in the pits - not much left.

 

 

 

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1st Qualifying Session - Friday & Saturday

2nd Qualifying Session - Saturday

Eliminations - Sunday Part 1

Eliminations - Sunday Part 2

Funny Cars & All Winners

Other Cars - Pits - People

 

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