14
Mar
Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

In the third round of NHRA top fuel dragster qualifying for the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, multi time top fuel champion Larry Dixon would ride out one of the scariest rides the sport has ever seen. Continue on to check out the incredible accident frame by frame.

Just hours before the scary crash, top fuel champion Larry Dixon hams it up for the camera as he signs autographs for the fans in the pits.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 500iso, f5, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 500iso, f5, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

About an hour later he would have a much scarier look on his face…

Before the incident, Larry Dixon (right) races alongside Doug Kalitta as they approach the finish line at Gainesville.

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

With Doug Kalitta drifting towards the center line timing blocks I laid on the shutter button to shoot the orange blocks flying…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

By dumb luck I just happened to have Larry Dixon in the frame alongside as his chassis broke in front of the drivers compartment…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

With the downforce provided by the big rear wing and the front wings keeping the nose planted, the car pushed skyward….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Note the header flames still coming from Dixons engine as the instantaneous incident still hasn’t registered to him (or me) yet….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

I’d say right around this shot is when it registered to me that I needed to stop looking at Doug Kalitta and instead aim the camera at Dixon….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Raw nitromethane racing fuel fills the air as it sprays from the severed fuel line to the tank at the nose of the car…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Doug Kalitta eventually did hit the cones, as if that matters at this point….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

With the front half of the dragster a lot lighter without fuel in the tank it spun erratically up into the sky….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

The back half of the car, where Dixon was safely strapped in, flew through the air like a kite…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Doug Kalitta would safely drive between the debris only suffering minor damage to his Mac Tools sponsored car….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Dixons flight was about over at this point as his car came out of orbit….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Thankfully Dixons car would come back down to earth on the big bouncy Goodyear tires…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

It was still a very hard hit as the dragster hit the asphalt sending a shower of sparks into the sky….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

The car would bounce up after the initial landing and go back into the air….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Dixon is pointing right at me in this frame….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

The back end would come down as the drivers compartment with Dixon still flew through the air…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Note the rear wing completely over the wall. I’m glad I wasn’t on that side…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

The wing appeared to grab onto the wall which would cause the front end to swing into the wall…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

It was a pretty big shot as evident by the sparks coming from the remainder of the car hitting the concrete retaining wall…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

This hit had me scared for Larry as his feet were precariously close to being exposed….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Finally Dixons car would return to the track for good as the parachutes were fully blossomed…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Note the nitromethane fuel once again spilling out of the severed fuel line as he slid past me…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Around this point fellow photographer Bruce Biegler, who was shooting behind me, yelled something about parts coming at us as he bailed. I put the camera down enough to scan up track looking for any debris that was a danger to me. I noticed what appeared to be a blower pulley whiz about 10ft past me.

Once I knew I was safe, the camera went back up to my face to continue shooting as Larry slid to a stop.

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Debris littered the track…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

After what seemed like an eternity, it was about three minutes, Larry climbed from the car and walked on his own to an awaiting ambulance…

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f6.3, 1/1250th, Manual

The car was obviously a total write-off….

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f5.6, 1/3200th, Manual

Canon 1Dx, 600mm, 640iso, f5.6, 1/3200th, Manual

A lot of people have asked if his legs ended up being exposed. The red arrow points at the gas pedal in the cockpit. He still had a couple feet of protection left. No pun intended…

A lot of people have asked if his legs ended up being exposed. The red arrow points at the gas pedal in the cockpit. He still had a couple feet of protection left. No pun intended...

But at the end of the day the car did EXACTLY what it was supposed to do by protecting driver Larry Dixon, allowing him to race another day.

Check out the amazing video of the incident. (look for me on left side of frame standing on my little ladder)

I look forward to seeing Larry Dixon back in the cockpit of his dragster at the next race!

 

A few people have asked if I have the prints available on my website, to see the full sequence and purchase a print CLICK HERE


 
Posted in Crash, Drag Racing, Florida, NHRA, Racing, Sports   6 Comments

6 responses to “NHRA driver Larry Dixon walks away from frightening 300mph Flight”

  1. […] His bowels probably ruptured much like his car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0xVHPiKRec Photos: NHRA driver Larry Dixon walks away from frightening 300mph Flight on Mark J. Rebilas Blog […]

  2. […] these are good, but for incredible high res high def images, go see a remarkable gallery from beginning to end of the event http://markjrebilas.com/blog/?p=21971#more-21971 […]

  3. […] Leave a reply these are good, but for incredible high res high def images, go see a remarkable gallery from beginning to end of the event http://markjrebilas.com/blog/?p=21971#more-21971 […]

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  5. […] these are good, but for incredible high res high def images, go see a remarkable gallery from beginning to end of the event http://markjrebilas.com/blog/?p=21971#more-21971 […]

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