Inevitably, what goes up must come back down — unless you can achieve the altitude and velocity of a satellite, but we digress — but you’d like to come crashing back to the racing surface from a wheelstand with some degree of control if at all possible. Unfortunately, once all four wheels have lost contact with the Earth, you’re at the liberty of momentum, gravity, the twisting forces of the driveline, and whichever drive tire lost grip last. The right scenario can you lay you right on your flanks before you even know what happened.
That’s precisely what happened to Texas racer Brett Walker recently at the Houston Motorsports Park’s Atomic Dog’s Shootouts & Callouts no-time race. Walker, driving Greg Liggin’s nitrous oxide-assisted, small-tire Fox body Mustang, powered into a Kodak-moment wheelstand that he carried well out to half-track, before the car eventually climbed onto the bumper, hooked right and crashed down onto its driver’s side, giving Walker an up close look at the asphalt beneath him.
The cars’ momentum ultimately tipped it up back up onto all fours, but not before the damage was done, leaving the chassis and body worse for wear.
“The car went up, I pedaled it once (it was later determined via the data logger that he’d pedaled three times), it stayed up, I pedaled it again and it hit the bumper hard enough to unload the rear tires and send me airborne,” Walker explains. “Thankfully Greg got us a safe car and my safety equipment did it’s job. I’m a little sore, but other than that, I’m good. Not exactly how we wanted our Saturday night to go, but we will hopefully get it fixed and be back. This car means a lot to us and we’ll get it fixed no matter what it takes!”