“Z-Unit” Goes Wheels-Up and Crashes At Arkansas No-Prep Race


California street and no-prep racer Nathan Schaldach walked away with only minor injuries after a wild single-car — and nearly two-car — crash at Arkansas’s Prescott Raceway over the weekend.

Schaldach hauled out to Prescott with his awesome turbocharged, LS-powered 1974 Datsun 260Z, known as the “Z Unit” in tow, to take part in the $20,000-to-win Push It To The Limit small-tire no-prep race. And push hit to the limit Schaldach did…and then some.

While racing opposite of Kyle Buckmaster and his Chevy Luv pickup on Saturday evening, Schaldach launched into a picturesque wheelstand — one that ultimately sent him well into Buckmaster’s lane and nearly collected the pickup. Taking evasive action, Schaldach overcorrected back into his lane and lost control of the sleek Datsun, striking the guardrail with a glancing blow.

Schaldach believes the throttle hung open after he pedaled the second time, causing the car to careen into the wall and climb the K-rail, turning it onto its side. Schaldach and the Z Unit tumbled to a stop in the shutdown area, coming to rest upside down. In some incredible footage from a camera placed on the hood of Buckmaster’s Luv, the incident and the immediate aftermath were captured in their entirety.

“I felt it drifting into Kyle’s lane, so I did my best to get it out of his lane…a few pedals and the throttle hung open,” Schaldach commented. “It hit the wall at probably 130 mph. The car did its job and I’m blessed to be here. I’m just happy we didn’t tear up two race cars tonite.”

Schaldach suffered broken ribs in the melee, but was conscious and alert. And taking some positive away from the ordeal, Schaldach remembered he had taken out full-coverage racing insurance on the Datsun, which will assist his efforts in rebuilding or replacing for a swift return to racing.

“It’s crazy how many people Z-Unit has touched. I’m blessed it took me along for the ride. It’s why it’s so hard to say it’s just a car, when it’s touched so many people along the way, and helped so many in need,’ he says. “My support team at home is prepping the ER table to see if she is still straight and structurally sound — we will absolutely not compromise on safety with her, but if we can we will save her.”

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