This driver provides a perfect demonstration of how to really burn some rubber.
Drag racing and burnouts just naturally go together as a way to warm up the tires before a run down the track. However, most drivers don’t douse their tires in gasoline first. Driver Dave Nelson does in a clip that’s an official selection for the GoPro Awards, and the result brings new meaning to burning rubber.
After soaking the tires in plenty of gas, a technician creates a trail away from the dragster and sets the fuel alight. The rubber erupts in flame, and the burnout creates two giant fireballs. There’s not enough petrol for the fiery effect to last all the way down the track, but it’s impressive while the inferno lasts.
Nelson has another video of a flaming run on his YouTube page and answers questions in the comments section of this clip. While he makes the stunt look easy, there’s a ton of preparation involved. For example, a dozen firefighters are ready for action in case of a catastrophe at the starting line. Another one is at the eighth-mile mark in case of problems later in the run. He said this was his sixth time doing a flaming burnout, and the only damage so far happened to a parachute bag early on.
He shot the clip during a nostalgic drag racing display at Santa Pod Raceway in England. When the tires catch fire, the video slows down to 10 percent of the original speed so that viewers get the full effect. Nelson’s next goal is to capture the spectacle at night, but he says working out the right exposure and framerate is the biggest challenge for making that work.