CONCORD - Rookie Funny Car driver Chad Head raced to his first career No. 1 qualifying position Saturday at the Dollar General NHRA Four-Wide Nationals fueled by Full Throttle, and two fans received minor injuries when the shell of a funny car came off and landed on a walkway.
The engine in the Ford Mustang of Robert Hight exploded, sending the shell of the car high into the air. It came down on the walkway in front of the east grandstand near the finish line.
The NHRA said two fans were treated at the scene.
"As a precaution, two fans were evaluated and released by paramedics onsite," the NHRA said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the on track action produced a few surprises on Saturday to set up for Sunday's finals.
Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also will lead their categories into Sunday’s noon eliminations as No. 1 qualifiers at zMAX Dragway during the only NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event that features racing in a four-wide configuration.
The second generation racer powered his Head Racing Toyota Camry to a career-best performance of 4.014 seconds at 315.19 mph to top the 16-car field. Head is the son of longtime NHRA nitro racer Jim Head, who has earned multiple wins in both Funny Car and Top Fuel as a driver.
“To go 4.01, it’s unbelievable,” Head said. “It’s just credit to Dad, Johnny Davis, and the whole crew. We did a really good job in testing, then we really struggled hard in Gainesville and Vegas, so to come here and rebound and do that, that’s pretty awesome. It lifts everybody’s spirits.”