it was reported in the local newspaper(richmond times dispatch)today,that top alcohol driver bobby martindale was killed in a racing accident at atlanta dragway,it was reported his engine blew and the chutes did not deploy properly or if at all.my prayers go out to his friends and family.
Yes that is true Mark, the thing that concerns me a lotis the very little that has been mentioned about it. It was another one of those engine explosions and the vehicle maintained a high rate ofspeed and ran thru the gravel, catch nets and ended up in the woods. NHRA did not even put it on their main page it was buried in the divisional link.
God Speed Bobby.
wade,would you know if any of the "safety improvements"had been implemented down there yet
Negative, some eye witness accounts said the trap was like a hard packed dirt road!!!!!! I thought that was suppose to be gravel and such Seemed likeI remember gravel/sand when I was working the AMA Pro's in Atlanta but not quite sure.
While this would not have helped Bobby since he is TAFC, check this out.
Edited by: Wade Clark
Written by NHRA Communications
Wednesday, 08 October 2008
Based on continued testing success of the Electrimotion Safety Shutoff Controller, NHRA is mandating its use on all nitro Funny Cars beginning at the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals.
The Electrimotion Safety Shutoff Controller was designed by Dave Leahy of Electrimotion, a company based in <:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />
Delaware, , that specializes in electronic control systems. The controller senses manifold burst panel failure and simultaneously activates the fuel shutoff, shuts off ignition, and deploys parachutes. Testing on the mechanism began in Ohio , and the controller has been utilized by several Funny Car teams including Jim Head, Robert Hight, Del Worsham and John Force. Reading, Pa.
Use of this system is part of NHRA's ongoing efforts to improve safety and was one of the areas of focus outlined earlier this year.
To prepare for the mandatory use of this controller, NHRA is strongly recommending that all nitro Funny Car teams install the controller before the Virginia NHRA Nationals. NHRA technical operations officials will use the upcoming event in
as an opportunity to inspect all installed safety devices and to assist teams with any installation issues. Richmond
Fron the Compplus site:
ONE RACER ASKS: WHY WASN’T ATLANTA SHUTDOWN UPDATED
Written by Bobby Bennett; Photos by Bryan Epps, AutoImagery
Wednesday, 08 October 2008
One racer asks questions following his friend’s death, the third in five weeks at NHRA-owned tracks …
Bill Naves has been racing Alcohol Funny Cars for almost 20 years, but after losing his friend Bobby Martindale he’s doing
TAFC racer Bill Naves is struggling why he survived a sandtrap crash at a higher rate of speed and his friend Bobby Martindale didn't. some second-guessing. His thoughts have nothing to do with his decision to continue racing and everything to do with wondering when the National Hot Rod Association will concern itself with safety outside of the POWERade ranks.
Naves was supposed to have been alongside of Martindale on the fateful run but in an ironic twist a handful of safety issues kept him in the pits.
Naves 23-year old son witnessed the entire accident from start to finish. Matt Naves was a clear witness to Martindale’s car cutting through the catch net at NHRA-owned Atlanta Dragway before coming to an abrupt stop in the wooded area just outside of the sand-trap.
Matt is no stranger to working with Top Alcohol Funny Cars, having been around the pits since he was 10 years old. He was promoted to his dad’s crew chief by age 18.
“Bobby trusted him and often asked to borrow my sons because they were good help,” Naves admitted.
Matt knows enough of the intricacies of the Alcohol Funny Cars to properly convey the account of the accident to his dad.
Naves knew all too well how treacherous the top end can be when a driver has deceleration issues.
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- Join Date
- Nov 2005
- 210-08-2008, 07:35 PMdamn,i hadnt heard about the other 2 racers,i guess if you arent a pro driver no one gives a damn.i do hope that electrical gizmo works/mark sohc 750
1998 cbr 600 f3
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- Join Date
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- north carolina
- 1910-08-2008, 08:44 PM
Man this has been a tough year for drag racing. My condolences to the Martindale family. The catch nets in Bennetts article are at zMax in Charlotte. When I was checking on the construction progress and it became apparent the shutdown area was going to end in trees I was VERY concerned. What could they do to keep runaway cars out of the trees. When Iwas at the open house 3 weeks before the Nationals I walked down to the emergency area and was very impressed with the nets. That is pea gravel, not sand. That double net has been tested at over 200 mph (Naves)with great success and may have contained Martindale but Ican't help wonder if it or any dualnet systemwould have contained Scott's 300 mph mishap. I pray we never have to find out.
This has been a freaky year. Many things that could have happened over the last 10 or so years have happened this year.Necessary changes are in the works but theywill never make any kind of racing 100% safe. The Grim Reaper will occasionally visit. Edited by: frank spittle
- 10-12-2008, 01:00 AM
Here is one from the Atlanta Dragway web site:
Condolences to the Martindale Family
COMMERCE, Ga. (Oct. 10, 2008) – Bobby Martindale, 65, of Richmond, Virginia, was a long-time NHRA racer who passed away on Saturday, October 4, 2008 while pursuing his passion, driving his Top Alcohol Funny Car in the NHRA Southeast Division Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series race at Atlanta Dragway. His funeral was held today at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Richmond, with entombment in Dale Memorial Park. NHRA was in attendance.
NHRA sends its deepest condolences to the Martindale family and friends. Anyone in the racing community who wishes to send condolences to the family can do so by e-mailing email@example.com or sending mail to Atlanta Dragway, 500 Ridgeway Road, Commerce, GA 30529. NHRA will see to it that all messages are passed on to the family.
Martindale had dedicated his car to his daughter, Nikki. Martindale was preceded in death by his daughter, Nicole Martindale; and his mother, Ruby Martindale. He is survived by his fiancé, Geraldine Markham; father, Millard C. Martindale; sister, Vivian Barker; brothers, Richard C. and Garry B. Martindale; maternal grandmother, Mae Robinson; stepdaughters, Allison King, Crystal Orndorff, Heather Rogers and Cheyenne Stottlemyer.
NHRA is continuing to investigate the tragic incident. NHRA also is awaiting the findings of the medical examiner.
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