If you’re considering a move into misanthropy but are having trouble transitioning because you just like people so dang much, I think I have something that will help. It’s this video of a guy who manages to catch his Dodge Demon on fire at a Michigan track. He then pisses off the track workers to the point that they don’t even feel like putting out his car fire, at least not quickly.
No one comes off looking good here, and as a result, that Demon is kissed by flame, just like its namesake.
You may as well watch for yourself, I suppose:
In case the video doesn’t start at the time I nicely asked it to, go to about 0:45. This is taking place at Milan Dragway in Milan, Michigan (not the one in Italy, as is commonly mistaken) outside of Detroit and appears to have taken place at their July 31st Test and Tune event.
The car’s owner was doing a massive burnout, as that’s 90 percent of the reason why anyone buys a Demon in the first place, but it seems that the transmission decided just tire smoke wasn’t good enough, and proceeded to burst into flames.
Once it’s clear the Demon is burning, track workers approach with fire extinguishers quite quickly to put out the fire. They ask the driver to turn the engine off, sensibly, but the driver can’t seem to get the car to turn off, perhaps because the transmission is self-immolating and he can’t get it out of gear, and, it seems, the engine on/off button isn’t responding.
Here’s where things just get real stupid, though. The track workers are on alert and want the car off; the owner is likely pretty agitated that, you know, his car is on fire, so the exchange between the owner and track workers gets heated, fast.
The track workers tell the owner to turn the car off, and the owner responds
“It won’t shut off! Calm the fuck down, alright?”
...and then it sounds like he tells the worker:
“Why don’t you shut the fuck up?... I’m telling you to calm the fuck down because you’re being an asshole!”
This exchange pisses off the track worker enough that he takes his fire extinguisher and walks away, leaving the car to burn.
The owner then exits the car and walks to the track worker threateningly, saying “What are you gonna do?”At some point it seems that one of the workers says “Let it fucking burn,” and we’re completely trapped in a shitstorm of ego, tension, and stupidity that’s encompassing everyone involved.
It’s a tense situation for everyone, because a car is on fucking fire, and that’s, in case you weren’t certain, bad. The owner treated the workers terribly, not a great approach to take with the only people in a position to save your car.
Dealing with a burning car comes with a pretty high degree of personal risk, so the workers have every right to be on edge. The car’s owner, who is also under a lot of very understandable stress, probably should treat the people trying to help him better.
That said, the track worker’s job is to not let cars burn, no matter what, and a professional should be able to shrug off what dickheads freaking out about their burning car yell at them and keep their focus on putting out the fire in the car. Walking away from a burning car because you don’t like the way someone’s been talking to you is really not acceptable.
Luckily, an uncomfortable détente was reached, the owner finally opened the car’s hood, and the fire was finally put out. Even so, the car remained on fire, unattended for several minutes longer than necessary, all because a bunch of adult men were acting like petulant children.
I reached out to Milan Dragway and requested a comment, but as of publication time we’ve received no response.
As far as the owner’s side of the story, the daughter of the Demon’s owner responded in the YouTube comments:
“For the people in the comments saying the owner of the car has an attitude, he’s my dad and he wasn’t turning the car off because the car WOULDNT TURN OFF. The workers here DID NOT do their job or take the precautionary measures they were suppose to and damages could’ve been minimized if they would’ve helped sooner. Also, the car was on fire you don’t tell someone to open it with their hands, they completely put everyone in danger in this situation.”
I think the takeaway here is if someone is trying to help you extinguish a fire in your burning car, treat them nicely. They’re doing you a pretty big favor.
Now that I think about it, there’s also a good, practical lesson here about having a failsafe way to cut your engine, especially if you plan to track your car in any way. There’s battery master kill switches that aren’t too hard to install, or you could at least figure out what fuse you have to yank in case of an emergency to cut off the fuel pump or ECU or something to get that engine to stop, and mark it obviously in your fuse box.
Got it? Now everyone shake hands over that charred, ridiculous car and let’s all move on.