WILD VIDEO - LATINO WALKS AWAY FROM DEVASTATING VEGAS PRO MOD CRASH
J&A Services Pro Mod racer Eric Latino wasn't the least bit happy after Friday's Q-1 session at the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas.
Latino left the starting line in the left lane, but after severe tire shake, his supercharged Camaro made an abrupt turn right into Jim Whiteley's lane, missing the turbocharged racer. The car car headed for a direct hit into the retaining wall, but a last-second turn resulted in a side impact. The out of control car then headed back to the left lane where it impacted violently the left retaining wall. The car slid to a halt, where he exited the car under his own power.
"The car left good, and it felt pretty good," Latino explained. "It got out and started rattling the tire. Once it rattled, I lifted, and when I lifted the momentum's already there. The tire’s on fire; it kicked the car sideways, it put that car up on two wheels. I knew it was going to go for the wall, tagged it, came back.
"I thought it was going to definitely straighten it out, but it broke the wheel and the suspension, so I had no way to steer it out. It just rolled in and hit the left wall."
Latino was bummed because he felt there was good chance the car was going to run well this weekend.
"I don’t know how bad the car really is but it just, it’s a crappy day, " a dejected Latino said.
"You know. I was looking forward to a good race weekend this weekend. My sponsor is here, and the car was going to be in their booth at the SEMA show. I think I kind of messed that up a bit for them."
The display might not be the only thing messed up. Latino's right hand was swollen once he returned to his pit area 30 minutes later.
"My left hand’s pretty sore, it’s kind of swollen up so I don’t know whether something got fractured," Latino said. "I’ll have to go check that out. It could have been worse. I feel fine. The car was one of the best cars I ever had, and it worked so well. At the end of the year, you know we got the car working so well, it just really sucks that we had to end the year off this way with it."