Let this be a lesson to all track day drivers out there: never argue with the officials. They’re the ones holding the fire extinguishers.
Normally, we like to see Dodge Demons running sub-10 second quarter-mile times at the drag strip and not burning to the ground while maintenance crews look on, but that’s exactly what happened at the Milan Dragway at their recent track day event. The small strip just outside of Ann Arbor was host to a number of modern muscle cars, but it was a single unfortunate Demon owner that completely stole the show.
The entire sordid affair was caught on camera thanks to track day driver that just wanted to have a good time. Instead, he bore witness to an extremely upsetting altercation between a driver and track officials that resulted in the driver’s Demon getting cooked.
After pulling up to the line, the Demon performed your standard burnout to warm the tires. However, something went wrong. Rather than just harmless tire smoke, flames shot out from beneath the chassis as the car caught fire. Later we’d learn that the Demon’s transmission caught, but at first, all anyone knew was the Demon was burning.
Here’s where things go from bad to worse. An official runs out with a fire extinguisher and keeps telling the driver to “cut it off.” At first, the driver is unaware of the situation, then eventually catches on that he’s caught fire. Still, he doesn’t turn off the engine and the official starts to get understandably frustrated by his apparent lack of action.
According to the pinned comment in the video, the Demon driver was actually unable to cut the engine due to the fire. However, the official took it as the driver being obstinate, and when he got out of the car and demanded the official “calm the f!@#$ down”, the official simply picked up the fire extinguishers and walked away while the Demon continued to burn.
For several tense minutes the officials and driver simply glared at each other while stunned onlookers watched the burning car. Eventually, an uneasy truce was brokered and the officials get back to trying to save the Demon, but the damage was done. Anything not made of fire-resistant metal had simply melted, and there’s no telling how bad the transmission looked after it was all said and done.
The moral of the story: never argue with the officials when your car is on fire, even if you’re in the right.