Robert Hight wins Funny Car final after major explosion & crash | 2018 NHRA DRAG RACING

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Robert Hight takes home the Funny Car final win in St. Louis despite a major explosion and crash.


DAVE RIEFF: Robert Hight has won the race, but his car has exploded. And he is in the wall. Jimmy Prock, like everybody else, gathering all of this information in-- processing.

CREW MEMBER: Go now. We want you to go now, guys.

DAVE RIEFF: Now, Robert Hight climbs out. Tony, you've been in that pressure cooker. You know what that explosion is like. Can you even possibly describe what that concussion is like?


TONY PEDREGON: Well for starters, you know, Robert Hight's out of the car. He's moving a little slow. And-- and whether he's injured or whether he's not, you want to exercise as much caution as you can. There was some fire involved. The fire is extremely hot.

When it blows part of the body off, there is a firewall that protects the driver when the body is on. However, when the engine explodes and all that pressure from the concussion blows that body off, that fire that should be separated by that firewall, now, is-- is right in the driver's face. So the fire is a scary thing. I've received second, three degree burns on my hands.

That really compounds the problem. But I've had something similar happen. And-- and what the driver does is-- is you really-- you tense up. Because you don't know if that explosion-- there's parts or debris that can get into those-- your tires. So if you're anticipating going into the wall, you really want to try to prepare yourself best you can. But the good news is-- is Robert Hight is out. He's walking around.

He might be in a little bit of pain, but-- but he needs a little time to just collect himself and gather his thoughts. Maybe winning the race might make him feel a little bit better.

DAVE RIEFF: Our Papa John's Replay, slow motion style.

TONY PEDREGON: And you could see the raw fuel that was coming out of the right bank-- right side of the screen for us. And that was the beginning of the problem. Look at all the fluid under. And he's actually steering the car. This is sheer instinct for a driver. The wheels were actually continuing to go straight.

So Robert had no idea where he was at. However, he could recall where he was last. So-- so instinctively, he was still driving this car. Only good drivers with a lot of experience can do that. Because he had fire in his face. He had a lot of-- of body parts. I'm sure there were some engine parts. Fortunately, most of them are contained by a lot of the straps and restraints that keep that supercharger on the engine.

But a good job for Robert. I'm sure he's going to be a little stiff, but this is an awful good sign. You could see him looking at his hands after. I'm sure he did feel some of the heat. But the medics are going to take a good close look at him. They're going to go through their protocol, take a look at his hands, just to assess and make sure that-- that he's well.