NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


Dale Creasy Jr., Dave Richards, and a Texas two-step they'd both like to forget

The 2023 NHRA season was a wild one in many ways, including several spectacular on-track incidents. Here’s a look back at 12 of the biggies. Day 11: Dale Creasy Jr. and Dave Richards get tangled up at the Texas NHRA FallNationals.
22 Dec 2023
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Twelve Days of Wrecks-mas

During the first round of qualifying of the Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, Dale Creasy Jr.’s Funny Car crossed the centerline and made contact with Dave Richards’ vehicle, resulting in Richards hitting the wall. Both drivers exited their cars under their own power.

The scary incident began when Creasy’s TekPak entry lost traction a few hundred feet into the run, then suddenly darted into the right lane and into the path of Richards’ Verstran Mustang, which then collided with the right rear of Creasy’s machine.

Creasy’s car hit the left wall, while Richards glanced off the right wall, then plummeted across the centerline minus steering and brakes and hit the left wall in front of Creasy.

“It was just going along, and I know I was drifting right, and I'm pulling it back, pulling back, and the next thing I know it's over there in his lane,” said Creasy. “Our [data recorder] shows it started spinning at 2.7 seconds, and I was off the gas at 2.8, but it didn’t matter. I  had already let off the gas before it crossed, and I was trying to bring it back, but they don't turn that well, and the next thing I know it was just stuff flying and the body lifted up.”

“I had no idea it was [as] bad as it was until we stopped. I was just in the survival mode.”

Richards had experienced some issues staging the car so left the line more than a tenth of a second behind Creasy, which also played into the collision.

“I've been trying some new things during staging, and I actually rolled in deep,” said Richards. “At that point, I'm not even thinking about reaction time. 

“Then when I saw him, it was too late. I was already going towards the centerline, and I was yanking it back, and then he was there. As a driver, you’re focused ahead of you at the finish line and not looking out the window. I just barely moved the car when I saw him, but not enough.

“I hit the right wall — that wasn't bad — but then the steering was gone as I was going back to the left, I had nothing, no brakes, no real steering.”

An accident like this, which basically destroyed both cars but left the drivers only bruised, is costly to any team but devastating to independent teams like those of Richards and Creasy.