NHRA Pro Modified racers Kris Thorne and Steve Matusek were uninjured in separate high-speed accidents during the opening round of eliminations at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
In the third pair of the round, Thorne, the No. 16 qualifier, defeated Jason Scruggs on a holeshot, 5.76 to 5.75, when the parachutes failed to deploy at 257.87 mph. Thorne’s turbocharged Camaro skated out of control and nosed hard into the wall, turning onto its roof and sliding into the top-end sand trap, where it rolled once again before coming to rest. Thorne, from Mims, Florida, climbed from the car under his own power and assessed the damage.
Three pairs later, veteran Matusek, the No. 9 qualifier, was attempting to reel in opponent Todd Tutterow when his turbocharged Mustang drifted near the centerline. Matusek lost control of the car beyond half track, at which point it turned across the racetrack and onto its roof. The Mustang slid down a halt on its roof in there shutdown area, and Matusek likewise climbed out, uninjured, under his own power.