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Funny Car NHRA Summer Nationals - 'Action!!

Kablooie

Jeff Diehl, driving Chuck Beal's nitro Funny Car (on a Fuel car licensing pass, no less!), suffered this tremendous blower explosion almost immediately after hitting the throttle during the Firebird Raceway NHRA National Time Trials, an annual preseason test-and-tune weekend. The Hemi normally spins at 8,200 rpm through the lights on a 330-mph pass, but this time it went to 9,500 rpm when the car went into wheelspin off the line. With 60 pounds of blower boost and a pair of rods exiting the block, the scene through Ron Lewis' camera was quite exciting. "It's a big, big dent in my pocketbook," says Beal. "It was pretty devastating. It took out a brand-new TFX block. It may be salvageable, but it took out the crank and one head. The blower, obviously, is junk, but all of the safety equipment-the blower and valve-cover restraints-did their job, so my hat is off to Deist. The body is cracked and will need to be repaired, but I've got a spare."

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