Gathering data is key in preparing for a race, regardless of the venue. Some no-prep racers, as we’ve seen at various points, will go as far as making test hits on the street if the race they’ll be attending is on a totally unprepared surface — but that’s a risky proposition, as Tyler DeSantis learned when he experienced a horrific crash on a city street.
DeSantis was preparing for the Dig or Die race at 710 Dragstrip this past weekend behind the wheel of his nitrous-fed Mustang. The Dig or Die event attracted many of the fastest small-tire, no-prep racers from across the country with its $20,000 payout to the winner, so being prepared was a must for DeSantis if he wanted to win.
Since the Dig or Die event was using the dragstrip’s shutdown area as the racing surface, anything a competitor could do to gain an edge was critical if they wanted to win. During a test session on an undisclosed street, things went south in a big way for DeSantis and his Fox-body. DeSantis’ Mustang left strong, the front wheels high in the air, but he began to get out of shape and attempted to regain control by pedaling the car, however, it never fully recovered its footing on the slick surface. The car careened out of control and struck a tree, then a fire hydrant, causing it burst into flames, much to the horror of those watching the pass. The side impact, which centered just between the A-pillar and the front spindle, caused unspeakable damage, literally severing the engine from the chassis and tearing the transmission case in two.
This video from 6Sixty Street captures the moment of impact. The damage to the Mustang seen at the end of the video is a vivid reminder of why racing on the street, where virtually immovable objects exist, is so dangerous. Thankfully, DeSantis wasn’t injured and is seen in the video walking around the car surveying the damage.