A woman drag racer escaped without serious injury when her car burst into flames and veered off the track on Sunday (August 20) during the American summer championships at West Salem in Ohio.
SV Women's drag race cars on starting line and away (2 shots)
LV Shirley Muldowney's car bursts into flames
SV PAN Car careers off track and hits low bank
SV & CU INT Shirley Muldowney in hospital with reporter beside bed (3 shots)
CU Shirley Muldowney describes crash (at 31 ft. voice continues over re-run of race)
HAMMER: "Shirley Cha Cha Muldowney, fourth fastest qualifier in the funny car class was making her second run in the championship finals when a connecting rod broke midway through the run. The rod went through the engine block, releasing nitrated oil which exploded on impact with the hot headers and blew out the super-charger. It was the third fire crash of her career. She was hospitalised overnight at (INDISTINCT) Community Hospital with minor burns to the eyes and arms. Except for blurry vision she was in fine spirits Monday and ready to go to work."
MULDOWNEY: "About the thousand foot mark, I just shifted the car and I felt the car lay down on me and immediately the inside of the car was just about a ball of flames. I couldn't see so I felt for the first bottle, my fire extinguisher bottle and set it off and got on the brakes. The chute was already out but I knew it had burned out. And was on the brakes, (INDISTINCT) the tyres and feeling around for the second bottle. So that was the (INDISTINCT) second delay that you saw on TV before the bottles went off to extinguish the fire. They did a pretty good job. They didn't put it all out, but ah, I thought the car was going straight, I felt I held it pretty good and then I felt the ground kind of go soft underneath me. Thought I was off the right side of the track so I started bringing it over to the left and fortunately I was off the left side of the track. But I brought the car around and got the car stopped and I started coming out of the window. I knew I was still on fire but I was wearing a fibre suit which was made especially for me by Bob Hill in California and it really saved me. The reason my eyes got burned is that I have a habit of wearing my goggles outside my helmet in case I have to pull them down fast--in case of oil so I can see--and it burned the strap off the goggles
Initials BB/0000 DF/JB/BB/0016
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A woman drag racer escaped without serious injury when her car burst into flames and veered off the track on Sunday (August 20) during the American summer championships at West Salem in Ohio.
Shirley (Cha Cha) Muldownery suffered only alight burns in the crash. It was the third time she had been caught in a burning drag racer.
this film carries a commentary by National Broadcasting company reporter dick HaMmer and an interview with Miss Muldowney. A Transcript appears below and an alternative written introduction appears overage.