That remarkable and somewhat confusing photo up there was taken yesterday, at Gatornationals, when Robert Hight and Matt Hagan’s funny cars both exploded on the dragstrip, launching their fiberglass bodies high into the air. Happily, no one was hurt, and we got this amazing photograph.
As you can see in that tweeted photo, the explosions were decidedly no joke and, interestingly, happened almost simultaneously. The seemingly-floating body in the picture is from Hagan’s car.
Here’s a video of the double-explosion:
These “top-fuel” cars run on nitromethane, a highly volatile fuel, which doesn’t require oxygen to combust. Sometimes, if these incredibly powerful engines aren’t tuned exactly right, unburnt fuel can build up in the engine, and then explode, like we saw there, twice in a row.
Honestly, it’s sort of amazing these things aren’t blowing up every single time.