Bad, bad day.
Went to the re-opening of Summerduck Dragway last night. Under new ownership and they have made a lot of improvements plus lengthening the track about 150 feet. I don't care for the water box situation where you have to pull around and then back in to the box - but it is what it is.
Took the Monza out for what I wanted to be a few test passes. Figured with two time shots and a first round I could make three decent hits and collect some data. If I got a bit lucky, then maybe another extra hit but luck decided not to join me for the ride last night. Yesterday was flat hot, miserable high humidity and I was burning through T-shirts - I had brought 5 extras with me. We got the car through the inspection process with them checking the belts, power off switch and the safety neutral switch. Back at the trailer, one last look at everything then put the hood back in place, topped off the methanol and headed to the staging lanes. I decided to run the right lane, may or may not have been the right choice. Anyway I pull around and my son is helping me backup into the water box - mind you we are having to rely on the track person to have the area wet enough. I pull back up to a spot to perform the burnout, pump the brakes (which I now notice are not as solid as I like them) set the linelock and start the burnout - the car twist usually meaning that one tire is dryer than the other. I stop and my son backs me into the water again. This time I tap the pedal and spin them then come out. Same procedure but the burnout is good this time. So move up and light the prestage bulb, once the other car prestages, I start bumping in and just barely turn the stage light on. I get on the brake pedal and start bringing up the RPM, figure to leave about 2500, I notice the car creeps just a touch but then holds. I'm concentrating on that last bulb - it flashes, I nail the throttle, she lifts and I think "good launch!", then a split second later about 45-50 feet out I'm into the right wall. It bounces off that wall and starts heading across the track to the other side and I remember saying to myself "F*** No - not messing up both sides of the car!! - I get it straightened out. I sit there for a few seconds, engine is still running, check the gauges no issues, look for smoke or anything resembling steam - no issues and I drive it away. (Yes I got yelled at for doing that - but I could tell the car was alright).
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I spent the next hour collecting my missing fiberglass - got most of it recovered. The 1/2" tube mounting for the one-piece front is twisted and destroyed, some wiring is crushed and the right side part of the cowl got bent upwards a bit. I am still not sure what caused it to suddenly turn as nothing in the ladder bars is broken but I need to check the axles and see if the right rear is broken.
Bad, bad day.