Skip to comments.Accident claims life of (NHRA) Alcohol Funny Car competitor in Englishtown
Posted on 06/11/2010 7:02:44 PM PDT by flattorney
Official Statement: Top Alcohol Funny Car racer Neal Parker, 58, from Millville, N.J., crashed Friday at a high rate of speed in the shutdown area during qualifying for the NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park and was pronounced dead. NHRA officials and New Jersey state police are investigating the accident. On behalf of everyone at NHRA and Raceway Park, we are deeply saddened and want to pass along our sincere condolences to the entire Parker family.
- - - - -
12:35 PM, EST. - A high-speed crash during the first session of Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying has put competition on hold at the NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, NJ. The driver, whose identity hasnt been released by the NHRA, ran through the safety net in the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park shutdown area. The New Jersey State Police have confirmed a fatality in the accident.
LIVE TRACK REPORT Left Lane: John Headley Runs 6.666/158.00, Now #3 <> Right Lane: Neal Parker Runs 5.732/249.90, Now #2
Headley spun the tires coming off the starting line and it sounded as if he never shifted. Parker ran his career best ET and speed but then never opened his chutes. The car went off the track into the sand. We'll be down here for a while.
6:35 p.m. - This is the continuation of the first session of Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying that began at about 1 pm this afternoon. That session was interrupted when Neal Parker went into the nets and succumbed to injuries.
# # # # #
Driver killed in crash at New Jersey raceway # Yahoo Sports
OLD BRIDGE, N.J.(AP)A drag racing driver ran through a containment area at the end of a track and died of head injuries after crashing his alcohol-fueled funny car at a high rate of speed during a qualifying round at the NHRA SuperNationals at a New Jersey raceway Friday, state police said. Neal Parker, 58, of Millville, N.J., crashed at Raceway Park in Old Bridge, state police Sgt. Stephen Jones said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Parker was entered in the Top Alcohol Funny Car competition. The crash occurred shortly before noon. -SNIP-
The car ran through a containment area with soft barriers, sand and a safety net and wound up in pieces in front of a wall at the edge of the raceway property. State police declined to comment on whether the car hit the wall or on eyewitness accounts that a drogue chute designed to slow the car failed to deploy properly. Spectator David Farrah of Manalapan said it appeared the chute malfunctioned.It looked like the chute just didnt open and he couldnt stop, Farrah said. The car was just crushed. It was tragic. Another spectator, George Tompkins, 63, of Metuchen, said he left the stands shortly before the crash. He didnt see the wreck, but said he heard it.You heard that sound and knew right away that it was bad, he said.Racing was suspended for more than three hours while the crash was being investigated.
Parker often drove in NHRA events on the East Coast, but was not among the NHRAs top-ranked drivers nationally, NHRA spokesman Anthony Vestal said.Telephone messages left at Parkers Millville home and an excavating business listed in his name were not immediately returned Friday.
Fridays accident comes nearly two years after top racer Scott Kalitta died when his Funny Car burst into flames and crashed at the end of the track in central New Jersey. Kalittas Toyota Solara was traveling at about 300 mph when it burst into flames.New Jersey State Police investigators determined that catastrophic mechanical failure caused the fuel-fired explosion. The 1994 and 1995 Top Fuel season champion had 18 career victories.
In February, a spectator died after being hit by a tire from a crashing dragster at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. The woman was watching a first-round Top Fuel run when Antron Browns Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster went out of control on the strip and its left rear wheel came off. http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/news?slug=txnhradriverkilled
Post accident video: http://www.wlfi.com/dpps/news/national/northeast/driver-killed-in-crash-at-nj-raceway-nt10-jgr_3413629
I have received many calls for FlA on this matter. He has been out of town on business all week and is not at this NHRA event. He is driving a Top Alcohol Dragster and I don't know if he knew Neal. Unlike 1,000 feet NHRA nitro classes, Alcohol classes are still 1/4 mile racing. Also, FlA is SPI offshore superboat racing (throttle-man) again this season. After his racing accident last season, his new wife (they finally tied the knot after 5 years of dating) asked him to stop racing. He is so busy with work FlA agreed this will probably be his last car and boat racing seasons. Next SPI race is July 2-4, 26th Annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival, Sarasota, Florida, presuming no oil spill arrival. - TAB
It happens, but I have not seen it happen in a long time, perhaps twenty years. Tangled chutes yes.
Maybe there was a medical issue and he passed out. That was a fast time.
That funny car suddenly doesn’t seem so funny any more.
Shortened race distance for funny car and top fuel cars and extra safety measures aren’t quite enough at tracks with limited slowdown areas. You can’t stop very fast without chute and or brakes going 250 to 300mph.
Looks to me like this particular track is in for a big law suit even if something more is done to solve the problem.
“Shortened race distance for funny car and top fuel cars and extra safety measures arent quite enough at tracks with limited slowdown areas. You cant stop very fast without chute and or brakes going 250 to 300mph.
Looks to me like this particular track is in for a big law suit even if something more is done to solve the problem.”
When you strap on a race car you take your life in YOUR OWN HANDS....Period.
The idea of a law suit is insulting frankly....
They really need to lengthen that track and the shut off lane.
The idea of a law suit is insulting frankly....
Frankly Scarlett, at least two fatal accidents at the same track within two years, both involving high speed runoff, is disgusting. I could care less about insulting.
This is a dangerous sport, and accidents are going to happen. From the picture, it looks like a piece of debris went through the windshield and struck him in the head.
Interesting that this is the same track where, on June 21, 2008, Scott Kalitta was killed; his chutes only partially deployed.
That's why I think they and all others will likely end up going to the 1000 ft rule.