Saturday, June 21, 2008

NHRA Accident Links

There has been a fatal accident in the NHRA event this weekend. To keep the comments and links separate from the NASCAR page, this will be the link page for that topic.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kalitta family. The link will expand as the news continues to come in.

Use the COMENTS button to post, the rules are located on the main page. This is a very sad story, so please keep your comments respectful.


Driver Killed in Crash - Star-Ledger

AOL Fanhouse story

Fox Sports


bevo said...

AP confirms-

bevo said...

In the 3rd round he had a parachute malfunction at the starting line

Anonymous said...

anyone else offended by the ESPN decision to show the crash, despite Page's disclaimer?

It's one thing like the Earnhardt situation when TV doesn't know the driver's status. But here the news was already made public. I say poor taste ESPN.

RIP Scott

Joan said...

It was one replay no close ups and plenty of warning. No it was done in good taste, far shots, and a fast cut away.
What should have been a qualify show is a ive memorial show.
Godspeed Scott

bevo said...


I agree with you. Glad the cameraman on the crane didn't get hurt.

Nice touch talking to Scelzi, Capps and Tolliver.

glenc1 said...

I don't have any problem with them showing the wreck. I wanted it see it once, to just understand how it happened; I had just been watching the first part of the coverage before the NASCAR qualifying. They gave warning, plenty of chance for people to choose not. It is just amazing to me how some wrecks look so horrific, and guys walk away, and others they don't.

But the reason I came here is to express the wonderful job I think ESPN is doing covering this. It's not an easy task, and they are being very...I don't know what word, respectful, I guess. To watch a 'macho' guy like Gary 'lose it' is very human and touching, and real life drama. I don't know if they're on delay, but I'm glad they played the swear word--that was one of the most wrenching things I've seen in a long time. I'm sure some will disagree, but it's part of human nature, expressing emotions, especially in certain circles. Thoughts and prayers to Scott's family...

bevo said...

Well done by the folks at ESPN.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Kalitta family...this is an obviously difficult time and I wish them all the support and comfort they need.

With that said, I wasn't offended by ESPN's decision to show the crash. They didn't show it over and over, didn't tease that they were gonna show it before hand. They just put it out there with a well said disclaimer by Paige, and let it go.

What bothers me is what is on I don't think they are showing much importance to the story based on its small headline and blurb below a qualifying story with big headline letters and more space.

Bruce Ciskie said...

I was watching the NASCAR Nationwide qualifying when they mentioned there had been a bad crash.

I stuck with the coverage in hopes of hearing good news.

I thought Paul Page and the NHRA crew did a superb job capturing the moment without overdoing their presence.

It was exceptionally human coverage, and the word "respectful" doesn't seem to do it justice, but it makes sense.

As for the decision to show the crash, while I wish I hadn't seen it, I think ESPN was fine to do what they did. They showed it once, made it clear that this was a bad crash, and didn't show it again.

I'd be surprised if they ever showed it again, and if they do show it, I'm sure they'll make sure they warn people before they do.

The best to Scott's family and the NHRA family.

snowfaller said...

I have no problem with ESPN showing the crash. There was plenty of time not to watch it if you thought it would offend you. You have to see it at some point to understand how it happened.

I'm certainly not the least bit of an NHRA fan, but as a fan of racing my heart goes out to all affected - fans, friends, and family.

It's a sad reality of all motorsports.

Anonymous said...

I also wasn't offended by ESPN showing it. They gave warning, one could have looked away or changed the channel. I also was curious as to *what* had happened. Very sad. Even hours later it was hard for everyone to speak.

Kyle said...

Video of the crash

My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and sons.

AMS fan said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Kalitta family.
ESPN did a fine job reporting the accident.
The notice and showing what happened was fine with me. It helps to understand what happened.
GOD BLESS to the Kalitta family.

Kiteman11 said...

Sad day no doubt. No problem at all with ESPN showing the crash. That was one of the most professional broadcasts I have seen. They did a tremendous job handling an incredibly difficult situation. So much so that I wonder if it could be duplicated in any other sport including Nascar. The real issue is why is there no more runoff at the end of htese tracks. Hate to bring it up, but this may not have needed to happen. My prayers are with the NHRA community and his family.

SquidBuzz said...

Good question on the runoff. That was my first thought when I saw the video.

I would like to see the other angles of it to see exactly what happened at the other end. One must use these to learn how to prevent them.

Godspeed Scott

Kenn Fong said...

I don't think a run-off would have helped. I freeze-framed the footage, and he's on fire as he passes the Kawasaki sign and fully engulfed in flame and the body has been blown off before he passes the Castrol signs.. I didn't see any distance markers, so I'm using these as guides.

As NASA said when the Challenger had just burst into flame, "Obviously a major malfunction."

Paul Page did a tremendous job today.

Alameda, California

SophiaZ123 said...

I am not familiar with names in NHRA except a couple guys I have seen on WT and I of course know who John Force is and his daughter Ashley.

Still as somebody else said, it's a sad day when a racer dies.

Condolences to the family.

Anonymous said...

@kiteman--I was reading on another forum that there's a road on the other side of the wall so they can't extend it. But apparently there's another track with a similar set up (road on the other side) but they close the road when quals/races are going on so they have more of a run off. I wonder how feasible it would be in the future if indeed that is a problem.

But regardless, there will be a lot of questions that will need to be answered and see what they can do to make it as safe as possible if they're to return.

Richard in N.C. said...

This has been a real tough last 12 months or so in NHRA. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Kalitta family, crew, and fans and all those at NHRA. This brings back a lot of sad memories.

Brian said...


Really sad news.

wickedj said...

Looking at the still photos in the links JD provided id have to question whether or not Scott was either awake or otherwise at the time of the crash, afterall it took mere tireshake to take Eric Medlen and with an explosion of that force

either way i agree with everyone who has spoke about run off and sandtraps, go watch a And They Walked Away video and see how many times the sandtrap saves John Force

Vicky D said...

The NHRA broadcasters had a super memorial for Scott, including interviewing the other drivers. I thought them showing John Force on his scooter driving down the track was moving - who knows what was going on in his head. I think when they investigate the accident, that it was a number of tragic events that lead to Scott's death. That poor cameraman up on that crane had a scary view of it too.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/kiteman11 and would add kudos to Tony Pedregon and Jim Head for bringing up the short shutoff problem. Is anyone else surprised that Mike Dunn as a former driver has not yet addressed the problem on camera?

SophiaZ123 said...

Well, I woke up early and as I fell back to sleep, on Fox and Friends I was horrified that during a news segment, some blathering attractive blond woman announced this death as the video played 2 or THREE times behind her!?

NO WARNING AT ALL. Then I spoked to my 88 year old mom and SHE said she saw the video...OUCH..She expected a write up in her local paper and not a PEEP?? Our local paper sure covers NASCAR and I would think drag racing is big since I can hear the sunday races from MILES away as a track runs near a river, thus the sound carries..and there is another bigger track south of me. Sad they did not have a write up as the paper had PLENTY of time to gather news.

But I find it tasteless that the disturbing video is being played as a background with NO WARNING. Sad state of today's media...I understand we need to see it and figure out what happened but to ambush folks and elderly into being FORCED to see this before they can grab the remote..or have no reason to THINK they need to turn off the station, is disrespectful and exploitive of this tragic sad tale. Apparently many newscasts are showing it.

Scott's poor wife, kids and father. :( ALWAYS tough on a parent to lose a child. . .

Anonymous said...

@vickyd--I agree. As if what everyone was saying wasn't enough, seeing John on the bike on the drag strip added so many other emotions. Wondering what he was thinking, knowing that we could have lost him last year here in Dallas.

@sophia--I've given up on the weekend F&F...I want *my* friends back, I'm not fond of the crew but that's a rant for another day. But I'm not surprised. I also heard that she butchered his last name :(. I've never been to broadcasting/journalism school but I'm sure at least ONE class teaches you to learn how to pronounce unusual/hard to pronounce names. And I'm sure there's at least ONE OTHER that teaches you that people may not want to see disturbing images so WARN THEM. Some may be up getting ready for church with young children even. Heck, Mr. Page did that on the show and even said you may want to turn away. But both of those seem to be common sense to me so it would seem that one wouldn't need a class to teach them that.

SophiaZ123 said...


normally I turn on LOCAL talk radio when I can't sleep but on Sunday AM it's all religious stuff...and TV Land had on some western so I turned on Fox and NOT IMPRSSED with the show and the fact they showed this video on TWO NEWS updates was I guess the whole time this show was on they kept repeating the video.

Pathetic..and my heart goes out to the family who needs to AVOID WATCHING anything not on a DVD since who knows when a promo for news/sports may show this tragic tale. :(

AMS fan said...

NHRA has a super page put up honoring Scott. It's small in the big picture but I think it's the right way to tribute a fallen racer in their sport.
Good Job NHRA.

Bucket Trucks said...
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