This explosion sent Robert Hight's car into the safety net, but he still competed in the final and won the Funny Car overall title.

Famed drag racer Robert Hight has been involved in a lot of notable crashes over the years, including a 2013 one where the top of his car went into the stands, and Sunday saw him walk away from another racecar explosion. Fortunately for Hight, he wasn’t hurt, and this came in the NHRA Funny Car semifinals at Pomona after he’d already claimed the series title. He wound up winning this race and advancing to the final, too. But this is still a frightening video:

Hight’s car catches fire partway down the track, and he then crosses the track, hits the wall, and eventually slams into the safety net. But he’s able to get out and walk away. Here’s more on what happened and on Hight’s response from

Newly crowned champ Robert Hight beat teammate Courtney Force to reach his seventh final of the year, but the engine in his Auto Club Camaro let go at the finish line. Hight, blinded by smoke and fire, crossed the centerline and glanced off the left-lane guardwall before ending up in the sand trap.

…“I’m fine,” said Hight. “When that thing blew up it made a hard turn and I couldn’t keep it from going to the wall. The body tilted up and I couldn’t reach the ‘chutes. We have another car back in the pits; we’re going to fix it and come out here and try to end this weekend on an unbelievable note.” 

Hight wound up losing to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final with his team’s backup car, but still claimed his second Funny Car championship overall (he previously won in 2010). He’d clinched that after the first round, where he beat Tommy Wilkerson and where defending champion Ron Capps lost to Del Worsham. It took quite the effort for Hight to get there, too, as he had a 15-point lead over Capps heading into the weekend, but that was cut to eight points by raceday following four poor qualifying sessions, and he only qualified in 15th position in the final session. So this wound up being a pretty lucky weekend for him all around. And it capped off a pretty good year, where he also set an all-time NHRA speed record at Sonoma in August. But it’s particularly fortunate that this crash didn’t cause any injuries.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.