26
Feb

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual

During the second round of eliminations of the NHRA Arizona Nationals, living legend John Force would suffer a massive engine explosion before losing control and crashing with opponent Jonnie Lindberg. Continue on to see all the shots from this breathtaking incident.

My favorite thing about the NHRA race in Phoenix (besides being able to sleep in my own bed every night) is the bridge that goes across the track in the shutdown area.

Its an incredibly unique vantage point that provides the only view like this to shoot 330mph nitro cars in the world!

Ok lets get to the run.

In this first shot you can see all the white liquid coming from the right side exhaust which is indicative of cylinder(s) being out.   That makes 11 thousand horsepower engines VERY unhappy.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

But on race day you don’t lift. Force will wish he had.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

The force of the explosion lifted the body until it ripped the body right off the dual body latches.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

The 300mph air quickly did its thing and lifted the carbon fiber body off the chassis.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

With the body clear of the car the fire typically goes away. Not this time.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

In the next two shots you can see the parachutes being pulled from the airborne body.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

The back half of the cars body would head skyward out of my frame (before coming down and hitting my remote camera)

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

The way the body shredded from the car appeared to mess with the steering of the car.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Watch the piece of the body on the front tire in the next couple shots as it goes under the front wheel further eliminating the champs ability to steer.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

The engine fire still burned in the face of Force as the momentum from the explosion takes him across the center line.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Without the cars body, downforce is essentially gone and Force would continue bouncing towards the right lane wall.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

At this point Jonnie Lindberg probably realizes he is about to join in John Forces bad day.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Now the bouncing car of Force is totally blocking the track in front of Lindberg.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Impact is imminent.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Force makes hard contact with the right lane wall as Lindberg drives into his parachutes.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

The impact with the wall would send the rear end of the car about three feet into the air.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Jonnie Lindberg would slam into the airborne rear end of Forces car sending Johns rear Goodyear tire through his front windshield.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

The impact would send Forces car up into the air on its side.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Note his arm coming out of the cockpit of the car as he rides out the crash.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

At this point, the cars are way too close for me to be shooting with my 600mm lens but there was just no time to switch to the 200mm.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Here is the last photo (uncropped) before the two cars went beneath the bridge I was shooting from.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Its hard to do a 360 degree spin when you’re standing on a ladder facing the starting line but I would eventually find the crashing cars and continue shooting.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

The gorgeous new Head Racing body flies off Jonnie Lindbergs car as he and Force get tangled together once again.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

I followed the body for a few shots before getting back to shooting the two out of control cars.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

John Force slides across the track.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Jonnie Lindberg (left) hits the wall in front of John Force.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

The last impact would spin Lindberg around.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Then John Force would hit the left lane wall.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Forces parachute would come to a rest covering the cockpit of Lindbergs car.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

The body from Lindbergs car would come to a rest on top of the right lane wall.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Lindberg would quickly climb from his car uninjured.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

As is typical with crashes, the Safety Safari would direct Lindberg away from Forces car.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

Lindberg would walk back to the pits.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

As safety crews would tend to John.

Canon 1Dx mk2, 600mm, 500iso, f6.3, 1/3200th, Manual  BUY PRINT

John Force would be alert and talking to the Safety Safari before being transported to a local hospital to be checked out and released a couple hours later.

After the crash I would take the walk a quarter mile towards the starting line to check and see if the remote camera I had set up in the morning had gotten photos.

Here is what the camera looked like when I set it up a few hours earlier.

And here is what it looked like when I got to it after the back half of John Forces Chevrolet body flew over the wall and took out my remote camera!

Thankfully the card, camera and lens survived.

The camera setup was a Canon 1Dx with a 100-400mm lens set at 180mm with an F stop of f9 for good depth of field set at a ridiculously high for daytime shooting iso of 3200 so I could maintain the maximum shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second.

Canon 1Dx, 100-400mm, 3200iso, f9, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx, 100-400mm, 3200iso, f9, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx, 100-400mm, 3200iso, f9, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx, 100-400mm, 3200iso, f9, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx, 100-400mm, 3200iso, f9, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx, 100-400mm, 3200iso, f9, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx, 100-400mm, 3200iso, f9, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx, 100-400mm, 3200iso, f9, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority  BUY PRINT

Canon 1Dx, 100-400mm, 3200iso, f9, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority  BUY PRINT

Here is the last shot as the body comes down in front of the camera.

Canon 1Dx, 100-400mm, 3200iso, f9, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority

This crash would be the third crash suffered by John Force Racing cars in the last three weeks!

Here are the previous two:

John Force Pomona Explosion

Brittany Force Pomona Crash

Hopefully JFR has all their bad luck out of the way and can get back to normal!

If you’d like to help me pay for my remote camera repairs feel free to order a high quality print of any shots contained in this post by CLICKING HERE

 

 


 
Posted in Arizona, Crash, Drag Racing, Firebird International Raceway, NHRA, Pocket Wizard, Racing, Remote Camera, Sports   Leave a comment

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