Watch a Sprint Car Racer Demolish His Front Suspension and Still Win the Race

There are good drivers, and then there’s this guy.

byJames Gilboy|
NASCAR photo


Not all race wins are simple, unspectacular cruises to victory lane. Sometimes, you've got to fight tooth and nail against competitors, ever-changing surfaces, and mechanical failure on the way to the checkered flag. Those may sound like the challenges of long-format races like the Dakar Rally or Baja 1000, but no rules of the universe say all these can't happen in short-format motorsports, as sprint car racer Anton Hernandez found out this past Black Friday.

Hernandez raced his wingless, 360-cubic-inch racer in several heats at Vado Speedway Park during the New Mexico track's two-day season finale event, the Turkey Bowl. He claimed victory in both the Friday and Saturday feature races, reports Speed Sport, but it was his Friday drive that'll be one to remember.

Toward the end of Friday's feature race, while fighting for the race lead, Hernandez held too tight of an inside line and clipped a stationary truck tire used to mark the oval's inner limits. His car reared up in the air and came back down with its front left wheel wobbling forcefully, the steering linkage and suspension broken. While that damage would be enough to force a retirement on most drivers, Hernandez knew the race's end was near and soldiered on.

Despite his car's frame digging into the dirt at every opportunity and rivals closing in, Hernandez capitalized on the new race leader's poor entry into turn one on the final lap and drew alongside by the apex. With the racing line his, Hernandez dug a better exit out of the dirt and rocketed into the race lead, which he only had to hold for one corner before the checkered flag gave him a well-deserved reprieve.

Hopefully someone broke out the bubbly afterward, because Hernandez's win was worth celebrating.

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