I’ve always thought driving a 10,000bhp Top Fuel dragster must feel a lot like being strapped to the front of a medium-sized explosion.

That analogy turned out to be rather too literal for racer Terry McMillen in last weekend’s National Hot Rod Association meeting in Houston, Texas. A few seconds into his run, the engine in his Xtermigator machine lets go in a huge way, belching out an enormous fireball and blowing the supercharger clean off the top of the block.

After the car bumped along the wall to halt, McMillen emerged from the wreckage completely unscathed; despite the flames and shower of debris, no-one else was, either.

McMillen and his crew were mystified as to what had caused the explosion. He said afterwards: “We looked at the run and there was nothing wrong with Rob Wendland’s tune up. Something just broke in the rocker assembly.”

An F1 engine failure won’t look so spectacular ever again…

By Only Motors