MARONEY ON FUNNY CAR EXPLOSION: "LIKE TAKING A SHOTGUN BLAST TO THE CHEST, MINUS THE PELLETS"
For the record, Jim Maroney has never taken a shotgun blast to the chest, nor does he ever want to.
However, if the misfortune presents itself, he'll know what to expect.
A shotgun blast to the chest is exactly how Maroney described Friday's Q-2 engine explosion which sent the Candies & Hughes tribute Funny Car into the sky in a fiery malfunction.
"When I say getting shot by a shotgun, it’s like somebody’s got a shotgun pointed at you, it just doesn’t have any pellets in it," Maroney explained. "It’s a hell of a concussion. And that’s why that’s why it lifts the body. All these little burst panels we have in the body isn’t enough to relieve the pressure that’s underneath it when they come apart like that."
Maroney said when this happens there's no pre-warning, you know when it arrives.
"It happens so quick," Maroney said. "It was truckin’ down through there, and just about the finish line, I put my arm up in the air to hit the parachutes and boom. Next thing I knew I was getting shot with a shotgun and off goes the body. I said if somebody saw the highlight reel, it probably looks like I’m waving to the crowd in the lights because I had my hand up in the air to go to the parachutes when it blew up."
Hours after the incident, Maroney and his team were still at a loss as to what created the whole mess.
"We’re going through the motor right now; we’re not quite sure what caused it," Maroney explained. "We burned a couple of pistons which is par for the course with these cars. It looks like we had some other kind of failure that blew the blower off of it and obviously just like the big show guys, it lifted the body when we did.
"One of my crew guys actually worked for Cruz Pedregon last year when they blew up all those bodies, so I’m blaming it on him right now."
Unlike Pedregon, there's no replacement body available signaling an end to Maroney's weekend.
"Most of these chassis are custom built for this class," Maroney said. "Unlike the big show where almost everybody runs the same type of chassis, if it’s a Force car, you go borrow a body from Force, and it will bolt right on. That doesn’t happen with the nostalgia cars. I’ve actually had a couple of the racers come over to me and have volunteered their body to me for the weekend to try to make it happen, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out that way."