Tragedy Strikes NHRA Once Again

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2010

CONCORD, NC - SEPTEMBER 14:  A general view from behind the starting line as a top alcohol dragster waits to make his run during the finals for the NHRA Carolinas Nationals at the Zmax Dragway on September 14, 2008 in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

During the Northwest Nationals NHRA event, top-alcohol dragster driver Mark Niver lost his life.

Reports indicate that the parachute ripped off immediately upon release. Niver was unable to stop the car before hitting the sand pit at the end of the track at Pacific Raceways.

The dragster reportedly hit the netting designed to slow the car. The chassis of the dragster buckled back into the driver's cockpit.

The track was shut down at 4:15 pm PT before the finals.Β 

Racing was briefly restarted before law enforcement halted racing. The finals were eventually completed.

This was the second death in a month at an NHRA event.

Top-alcohol driver Neal Parker, 58, died at Englishtown, N.J. on June 11 when parachutes failed to deploy.

Niver, 60 (the driver killed today), was a 30-year veteran of NHRA with two national event victories in the top-alcohol class.

NHRA extends its sympathy to the family as the investigation began.Β 

Pro class winners were Cory McClenathan (Top Fuel), Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro-stock).

Information courtesy Terry Blount ESPN.com and Associated Press and NHRA.com


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