Two spectators at NHRA qualifying in Concord, N.C., on Saturday escaped serious injuries when the body of one car blew off and sailed into the front of the grandstands. The engine in Robert Hight's Funny Car exploded and sent the car body flying toward the stands, USA Today reported. Hight continued the run and was not injured, but the two spectators had minor scrapes after a piece of the body hit a railing and landed on a pedestrian walkway. "Funny Car driver Robert Hight's Ford Mustang suffered an engine explosion near the finish line during the second round of Funny Car qualifying which blew the carbon fiber body off the chassis and sent it high into the air," a statement released by the track said. "The body landed in a walkway in front of the eastside grandstand. As a precaution, two fans were evaluated and released by paramedics onsite." Most of the rest of the car's body landed on another railing in an area that separates the track from the stands. Hight qualified for the 16th and final spot for Sunday's eliminations. Chad Head, who qualified first in Funny Car, said the engine explosion was a mechanical issue. "What happened with Robert Hight has got nothing to do with speed," Head said. "That is a pure mechanical problem. I don't know where he blew up, but whether he's running 300 mph or 320 mph, that has absolutely nothing to do with the explosion. That's just maybe an intake failure or a rocker arm failure or something on top of the motor let go, and that's what you're going to have."
- Robert Hight