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One of the most horrific crashes in drag racing occurred during the Winternationals at Pomona in 1974. “When I first started drag racing we were using leather jackets, so I lived through a lot of changes. The fire suit I wore during the crash was adequate but nothing like today of course. (Tommy went backward so his rear engine dragster became a front engine and he was engulfed in flames.) I had the wing mounted too low on the car. I had leaned out the engine, which melted all eight pistons, and the motor blew into a ball of fire at 240 mph. The torque from the engine rolled the car over as I went through the lights with such a violent explosion, the fire went all around the wing, and zeroed out the down force.” The violent internal engine explosion broke the block; the rods blew out the bottom and oil dumped out in front of the rear wheels throwing the car sideways. Tommy was on the ride of his life. And he walked away!