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Blake Alexander (1 Viewer)

Siggy

Nitro Member
What exactly happened to Blake at the Southern Nats.? I just caught the end of everybody running around in the staging lanes trying to get the car started.
 

Greggo

Nitro Member
I believe there was a short in one of the wires of the Leahy Device which controls the safety systems. Daniel Wilkerson said he was unplugging and plugging the wires back in when the car started but unfortunately, it caused the deployment of the parachutes and they ran out of time.
 

sammi

Nitro Member
I hope his money and patience holds up long enough to get a toe hold in the sport. NHRA professional racing needs more young people and fewer medicare eligible nitro drivers.
 

Frank

Nitro Member
I don't understand why he didn't stage the car. As far as I know, there is no rule that explicitly states the parachutes must be packed to stage the car is there? If I were Blake, I would have been screaming in the radio to put the body down and let me roll forward and stage the car. If my opponent red lights or crosses the center line/tags the wall, at least I took the green and I would be declared the winner. Hell, he could probably massage the throttle enough to get the car to the finish line in 5.5-7 seconds even with the chutes deployed and no burnout, which might be good enough to win the race if his opponent were to bang the blower, or something similar, right at the hit of the throttle.
 

Nunz

Nitro Member
I don't understand why he didn't stage the car. As far as I know, there is no rule that explicitly states the parachutes must be packed to stage the car is there? If I were Blake, I would have been screaming in the radio to put the body down and let me roll forward and stage the car. If my opponent red lights or crosses the center line/tags the wall, at least I took the green and I would be declared the winner. Hell, he could probably massage the throttle enough to get the car to the finish line in 5.5-7 seconds even with the chutes deployed and no burnout, which might be good enough to win the race if his opponent were to bang the blower, or something similar, right at the hit of the throttle.
Would you want to gingerly run your fuel car down the track with no chutes? Can you think of anything that could possibly go wrong?
 

Tom Slick

Nitro Member
Would you want to gingerly run your fuel car down the track with no chutes? Can you think of anything that could possibly go wrong?
He didn't say with no chutes. The chutes deployed when they fired the car. He is saying why not stage to the car and motor down the track with the chutes deployed in case his competitor had a problem. Per Alan's post that is a big no no.
 

TSK

Staff member
Nitro Member
I can’t image the starter, or the Safety Safari, allowing a car to go anywhere with its ‘chutes on the ground behind the line.
 

SoCal Racer

Nitro Member
Agreed. It was painful to watch them thrash like they did, but no one can say they didn't give it 100%. Hopefully they get rid of the gremlin and chalk it up to a lessons learned.
I was watching that thinking they'll remember this as the run from hell..... Crew and chief scrambling to get the car running, only to have the chutes fall out. Total panic and frustration trying to problem solve in a split second, hoping if the car does fire the run will be good, and the driver sitting helplessly looking on as the clock runs out on staging time. It happens, and most anyone who races or has raced knows the frustration and agony of those times!
 

mikebcurve

Nitro Member
I hate to admit it but I root against anyone in that situation because I'm afraid something important will be overlooked. It's not worth the risk. Live to fight another day especially when parachutes are involved.
 

Ramjet

Nitro Member
There is more likely one of two things that happened here. With the wiring messed up it most likely triggered the "Electrimotion" switch when they changed wires or the CC accidentally set it off with his remote button which both will shut off the Mag's - Fuel - Pan Pressure sensor & deploy's the "chutes with his remote switch. Either way when the Parachutes "Escape" you're done.
 

MM

Nitro Member
There is more likely one of two things that happened here. With the wiring messed up it most likely triggered the "Electrimotion" switch when they changed wires or the CC accidentally set it off with his remote button which both will shut off the Mag's - Fuel - Pan Pressure sensor & deploy's the "chutes with his remote switch. Either way when the Parachutes "Escape" you're done.
If either of those were the case, it wouldn't have started.
 

Ramjet

Nitro Member
It did not start at first until they changed wires. The point is after they redid the wires and got it started something deployed the chutes. It seems more possible that something they were working on or an accidental trigger of the box is likely since parachutes very - very rarely just fall out before the car even moves unless putting the body down moved the release or button.
 

Frank

Nitro Member
Just to clarify a bit, my thoughts on this were really two separate parts. Part one was to stage the car since the engine was idling fine, the emergency shut off sequence had not been triggered, and there were no fluids leaking or anything abnormal like that. I have seen several times over the years where a driver stages the car then doesn't move at the green light. Afterwards he/she says something like, "I looked down and I didn't have any oil pressure so I knew I wasn't going to make the run so I just staged it in case my opponent made a mistake." In similar scenarios I've heard crew chiefs say, "Yeah we hurt blah blah blah during the warm up and we knew we couldn't make a full pull so we decided to bring the car to the line and stage it, just in case our opponent had some misfortunes." So the competitor in me was thinking along those lines as I was watching it live and seeing the guys struggle trying to pack the chutes. "You're never going to get the chutes packed in time, but since the engine is running fine, might as well roll forward and stage it, take the green light, then shut it off."

The second part that popped into my head was the thought of actually moving the car after he staged. Again, the competitor in me started thinking, if Blake had staged the car what if his opponent banged the blower right at the hit and coasted to a stop at 100 feet? Should Blake then just idle down the track with the chutes deployed to take the win? Most of us have been around long enough to have seen chutes deploy early on cars. After thinking about it more, I agree, it's a bad idea to leave the line with the chutes on the ground, and shouldn't be allowed. But my first thought was I have seen several cars, especially alcohol funny cars and blown alcohol dragsters (which I'm sure Randy Goodwin can attest to) shake so violently their chutes fall out anytime between the initial hit and half track. I guess over the years I've seen plenty of cars go 1315 feet, or 1300 feet, or 1260 feet, or 1020 feet, with their chutes fully deployed because they fell out prematurely. So in my mind I was thinking, "is this really all that different? Blake's chutes fell out before the tire shake instead of after it. He should still be able to safely idle down the track if his opponent has some real bad issues." Just wanted to further explain where I was coming from.
 

Jeff

Nitro Member
I recall Alan giving me a hard time on the PA once when Jenifer shook both chutes out in the shake zone and I was so frustrated that I said "screw it, let's see what it runs" and let her pull em to the 1320 .... "OK Mr Wizard, now you know....." as he often does Alan's humor makes me smile when I need it. My pro mod buddy (Josh Hernandez) was standing there and told me it would have smoked his blown alky engine to do that for nearly the entire run (enough load for too long to lean it out). Oh well, really depressing to see happen to people. Go Blake, really like pulling for the young guns.
 

sammi

Nitro Member
Parachutes deploy any time before half track, instant run DQ. You can't F around with safety. Better to be a little butt hurt and be able to roll your car into the trailer, than have a skip loader load what is left of you and your car.
 

Rat

Nitro Member
Isn't the current rule that pro rank classes must cross the finish line to win a round and only sportsman classes can get away with just taking the light?
 

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