Thirty Ford Rangers on dirt sounds like a traffic jam trying to leave a country music festival. As Cleetus McFarland has shown, though, it's also a recipe for hilarious chaos and carnage at Bristol Motor Speedway.
As shown on YouTube, the Danger Ranger 9000 was aptly named. Most of McFarland's events take place at his Freedom Factory tarmac oval track, but this time, the mid-sized trucks would do battle on dirt. The races normally have their fair share of thrills and spills, and we had high hopes the slippery surface would only add to the antics.
Ultimately, Bristol delivered. The opening Sport Compact race saw some body contact and scuffles, but it was the Danger Rangers that really brought the noise. Even before things got going, one of the trucks rolled in qualifying. Thankfully, the required roll cage and safety features woul come in handy again during the main event.
Almost as soon as the race started, everything came apart quickly. According to one racer, drivers had been clearly warned not to dive towards the infield to make passes, with large humps in the dirt to discourage such moves. Regardless, the driver of the #33 truck went low, immediately losing control. A tank slapper ensued before they speared across the track in front of a five-wide field of Rangers. Five cars were taken out almost immediately, with the #69 entry launched high into the air before rolling multiple times. The #33 car was comprehensively tumbled and run over in the crash.
Thankfully, McFarland's team had seen fit to require quality roll cages in all trucks competing at Bristol, which is always a good idea. Nobody was seriously injured, though it took crews some time to recover the drivers and remove the cars from the track.
It wouldn't be the last incident, either. Several further rollovers ensued, with multiple cars also sliding out of control after McFarland's #4 entry spewed fluids all over the track. Despite the carnage, after multiple restarts, the race was eventually completed, won by Keith McGee in the #1776 truck built by Vice Grip Garage.
It's often considered gauche to celebrate the crashes in a motor race. However, when you're pitting 30 shaky old trucks against each other on a dirt track, it's kind of the whole point. At the end of the day, the only injuries were to tired Fords, and the audience got one hell of a show.
Got a tip? Let the author know: firstname.lastname@example.org