Richard Rawlings, the television show host, energy drink impresario, and restaurateur, has tried his hand at drag racing and failed in gloriously impressive fashion. While racing against NHRA Top Fuel ace Leah Pritchett, Mr. Rawlings skidded into the left side k-rail of the makeshift track on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. The crash wasn’t injury inducing, but it seriously screwed up the left side of the car, and moved the concrete wall a bit.
When I first heard the news that Rawlings had hit a wall while racing a Hellcat during the Woodward Dream Cruise, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Drag racing isn’t exactly easy, especially when you’ve got supercharged Hemi power under your right foot. And then I saw the video.
First Rawlings does a little baby burnout that produces barely any smoke. That is followed by Pritchett’s flamboyant and professionally executed burnout, which smokes out even Rawlings’ side of the track. In retaliation for having been upstaged, he then lays into the throttle for several seconds, producing a massive burnout that received applause. When the starter dropped his hands, however, Rawlings was still spinning his tires stationary, and simply pressed harder on the throttle. While Pritchett was fighting wheelspin to get a proper launch from the starting line, Rawlings was taking his smoke show on the road, running well down the track with wheel speed exceeding car speed.
When the car finally hooked up, he was counter steering against the burnout and that launched his car directly at, and partially up, the track barrier. As they say in Michigan, “Ope!”