Drag racer has close call

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, July 20, 2007.

Jackson, SC---A drag racer has a close call early Friday morning after he crashes his car. It happened just after midnight last during the last run of the one-eighth of a mile race at the Carolina Dragway in Jackson.

Every Thursday night at the Carolina Dragway drivers rev up their engines. But as seen in this video caught by a spectator of the race, the driver of the Mustang on the far right loses control after he tops out in speeds over 130 miles an hour. Reportedly the driver was taken to MCG with minor cuts and scrapes.

But co-owner of the drag race, Jeff Miles says crashes like this are not uncommon in drag racing, happening about once every two months at the strip in Jackson. "I wish we'd never have an incident at all but you're gonna have them," he said.

On average: about 200 drivers race every Thursday night with each driver racing two or three times. "We average 650 runs a week and to have one wreck every couple months I'd say that isn't bad. If this happened on the street it would've been catastrophic," he said.

That's because the dragstrip is sanctioned by the International Hot Rod Association that makes drivers comply with strict safety requirements. But as the need for speed continues to grow Miles says it's the safest way to keep kids from doing it illegally on the streets. "Everyone wants to go fast that's why police write as many tickets as they do, this is a place where people can do it safely," he said.

At the Carolina Dragway, Miles say all of his employees are certified both as a firefighter and paramedic and he employs one paramedic full-time at the races.

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