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Fishhawk
07-30-2005, 08:31 PM
Can anyone give the official explanation for Dan Bills hitting the short exit wall? Also, why was that exit open at that time? Certainly non of the 10.5 cars that were running then would have been using it.
What a relief to hear he is okay. Can't help but feel for his wife and baby sitting in the stands watching that.

Fox
07-30-2005, 09:30 PM
I posted the photos on my site.. :(

http://racingsouthwest.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=18601&hl=

90GT398
07-30-2005, 11:32 PM
Bravo to the guy who built that rollcage, looking at some of the pic's on your site Fox, that car was well designed. Glad to hear dan is okay and can walk away from it.

clubracergt1
07-31-2005, 05:46 AM
I was talking to him after getting back to the trailer, and Dan said that the throttle hung.

Modcoupe
07-31-2005, 10:03 AM
That SUCKS!!! Looks like the cage did a fantastic job. I see way too many guys take their saftey equiptment for granted. Those photos prove it is there for a reason.

schreibs
07-31-2005, 03:14 PM
thats such a shame. THat car was beautiful. But its good to hear he's alright. You can always replace a car but not a life.

MOD MOTR MANIAC
08-01-2005, 08:44 PM
Originally posted by 90GT398
Bravo to the guy who built that rollcage, looking at some of the pic's on your site Fox, that car was well designed. Glad to hear dan is okay and can walk away from it.

Granted the important thing here is that the driver is ok!!! But I dont know if I agree with giving the cage builder props, I was in the guys pit after the crash taking picks as well. The picks posted are kinda far shots of over all damage, but if you look a little closer at the picks, mostly #7 you will see that the cage broke on a joint where about 4 bars meet and are welded, the (rear halo, back bars, trunk bars, and under chassis bars.) This point SHOULD be one of the strongest on the car! Its NOT the only weird break point on the car, its just the only one you can see with the picks that were posted.

None of us like to see this kind of thing happen, but as a driver it scares me to think about how many of us may be racing cars that could be very unsafe. Granted when the car was whole it was beautiful, the cage work looked good as well, and NONE of us including a chassis builder can ever predict what may happen in a crash like that car went through. I would have NEVER thought that there were week points in it, but looking at the picks I cant help to think that if he had hit the wall with the driver side of the car he may not have faired so well.:confused:

vinny5oh
08-01-2005, 09:54 PM
He walked away. Safe enough.

sg4145
08-01-2005, 11:58 PM
Why don't these guys deploy the chutes as soon as they cross the finish line like the NHRA/IHRA pro stockers do? If the chutes had been deployed this might have turned out differently. These cars are as fast if not faster that the NHRA pro stocks & those guys ALWAYS drag the pilot spring as they cross the finish line. As someone who watched this from the shut down area I see several guys either not deploying the chutes at all or deploying them late. After they get in trouble they are too busy driving to deploy them...then it's too late. Just my .02

sam sso2077
08-02-2005, 12:32 AM
Originally posted by MOD MOTR MANIAC
Granted the important thing here is that the driver is ok!!! But I dont know if I agree with giving the cage builder props, I was in the guys pit after the crash taking picks as well. The picks posted are kinda far shots of over all damage, but if you look a little closer at the picks, mostly #7 you will see that the cage broke on a joint where about 4 bars meet and are welded, the (rear halo, back bars, trunk bars, and under chassis bars.) This point SHOULD be one of the strongest on the car! Its NOT the only weird break point on the car, its just the only one you can see with the picks that were posted.

None of us like to see this kind of thing happen, but as a driver it scares me to think about how many of us may be racing cars that could be very unsafe. Granted when the car was whole it was beautiful, the cage work looked good as well, and NONE of us including a chassis builder can ever predict what may happen in a crash like that car went through. I would have NEVER thought that there were week points in it, but looking at the picks I cant help to think that if he had hit the wall with the driver side of the car he may not have faired so well.:confused:

Some of the welds were inadaqeute, some of the gussets were not completely welded all the way around.
Still glad to see he OK though.

dan bills
08-02-2005, 03:13 AM
I knew it would not take long for the backseat drivers and arm chair chassis builders to speak up, but I am a little suprised at who those people turned out to be.

Let me give you the readers digest version. I have been driving a 10" tire car scince it's inception and was one of the people who started this type of class back in 91. With the exception of Billy and maybe one or two others, I have been doing this longer than any of you, so if anyone would like to compare driving skills, I would be more than happy to do so.

So, I'll adress that first. Mac, when you deploy your chutes is a matter of choice. Some like to pull them early and drive into them, some pull them in the lights, and some just after. I usually do mine right in the lights. This was thrown off a little by the throttle sticking, which made getting that shut down to stop the car from accelerating my first concern. Being that I was there. I can tell you that the chutes would not have been out soon enough to stop that unless I pulled them before the finish line, than possibly it may have helped. As soon as I shut the motor off, I beleive it took the weight off of the back tires and allowed them to lock up which sent the car into the spin. After that you are pretty much just a passenger.


As far as the chassis goes, as far as I am concerned, I owe that man my life. Sam, your statements are just plain stupid. There are no inadaqeute welds or welds that were not complete. If you knew anything about how the car was built you would know how silly that is. My body seperates from the chassis, it was not even on it when the car was final welded, so there were no hard to get to spots that sometimes get overlooked and I checked them all myself personally before that chassis went to get painted. Inadaqeute? how can you make a statement like that? We have spent the last 2 days going over the car, I have not seen anything Inadaqeute, and I am still amazed that it held up as it did.

Maybe you and mod motr don't fully understand what happened.

THE CAR HIT THE CORNER OF THE GATE OPENING AT 200 PLUS MPH

It didn't just hit the wall, it hit a corner just before the door on the passenger side. The chassis was strong enough to take that impact and the car slid across the corner until it got to the main hoop, the wall hooked into the mainhoop and broke that section out. even after all of that there was still enough force when the corner hit the rear end it bent the rotor in half, sheered all of the 4 link bolts( the same bolts that all the pro stock cars use), didn't break any of the mounting points, sheered the bolts and then tore the rear end and everything behind it out of the car, so you can only imagine the the force it had when it hit the front and got to the main hoop. after all that, myside of the car is perfect, my door still opens and closes like new, none of the x bars are even bowed, the impact never got close to me, After all of that, I unbuckled my belts, opened the door and got out! I'd say the chassis did it's job above and beyond.


It's bad enough that this happened, and you can say what you want about me, I know better and I can take it. But I will not sit here and listen to you guys throw your statements around with an obvious lack of knowledge and the situation, about a man that built a incredible car that not only saved my life but allowed me to walk away from a 200 mph crash without a scratch.

Dan Bills

Chris Fillyaw
08-02-2005, 06:24 AM
Bottom line is that I am glad to see that you walked away from it!

Jason Reiss
08-02-2005, 06:45 AM
Glad to see you are safe and sound, Dan.

My only comment is that I'm glad you're alive to walk another day! Whether you ever race again is not the issue. When I looked at the car, it certainly looked like the driver's compartment of the cage did its job correctly, and that's to allow you to unbuckle the belts and get out afterwards.

Although I did hear Dr. Meyer say that you told him you couldn't wait to build another car?

Larry Geddes
08-02-2005, 07:25 AM
Dan,

As soon as we heard that you were okay I immediately asked the guys around me, Why was the gate open?

We all know the risks associated with drag racing, but did this contribute to the severity of your crash?

Sliding on the wall versus an abrupt impact means alot.

This IS one of the premier tracks in the country.

It sure would be interesting to know the "gate policy" at the NHRA event held there.

We are thankful that you are OK.

Your thoughts Dan?

Jeff "Pakman"
08-02-2005, 07:54 AM
Your a great guy to know and have always been good to me, Glade your ok Dan. If you ever need anything you have my number.

vrtical
08-02-2005, 08:07 AM
Larry, I am not sure why that short gate was open for 10.5, it usually is allways closed for the faster cars until they see a need to open it. I am sure 66 is reviewing it. I was on the top end and saw the horrific crash. I am glad to see Dan walk away, that chasis saved his life.

Dan, good luck on whatever you build, I am sure it will be another great combo.

sam sso2077
08-02-2005, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by dan bills
I knew it would not take long for the backseat drivers and arm chair chassis builders to speak up, but I am a little suprised at who those people turned out to be.

Let me give you the readers digest version. I have been driving a 10" tire car scince it's inception and was one of the people who started this type of class back in 91. With the exception of Billy and maybe one or two others, I have been doing this longer than any of you, so if anyone would like to compare driving skills, I would be more than happy to do so.

So, I'll adress that first. Mac, when you deploy your chutes is a matter of choice. Some like to pull them early and drive into them, some pull them in the lights, and some just after. I usually do mine right in the lights. This was thrown off a little by the throttle sticking, which made getting that shut down to stop the car from accelerating my first concern. Being that I was there. I can tell you that the chutes would not have been out soon enough to stop that unless I pulled them before the finish line, than possibly it may have helped. As soon as I shut the motor off, I beleive it took the weight off of the back tires and allowed them to lock up which sent the car into the spin. After that you are pretty much just a passenger.


As far as the chassis goes, as far as I am concerned, I owe that man my life. Sam, your statements are just plain stupid. There are no inadaqeute welds or welds that were not complete. If you knew anything about how the car was built you would know how silly that is. My body seperates from the chassis, it was not even on it when the car was final welded, so there were no hard to get to spots that sometimes get overlooked and I checked them all myself personally before that chassis went to get painted. Inadaqeute? how can you make a statement like that? We have spent the last 2 days going over the car, I have not seen anything Inadaqeute, and I am still amazed that it held up as it did.

Maybe you and mod motr don't fully understand what happened.

THE CAR HIT THE CORNER OF THE GATE OPENING AT 200 PLUS MPH

It didn't just hit the wall, it hit a corner just before the door on the passenger side. The chassis was strong enough to take that impact and the car slid across the corner until it got to the main hoop, the wall hooked into the mainhoop and broke that section out. even after all of that there was still enough force when the corner hit the rear end it bent the rotor in half, sheered all of the 4 link bolts( the same bolts that all the pro stock cars use), didn't break any of the mounting points, sheered the bolts and then tore the rear end and everything behind it out of the car, so you can only imagine the the force it had when it hit the front and got to the main hoop. after all that, myside of the car is perfect, my door still opens and closes like new, none of the x bars are even bowed, the impact never got close to me, After all of that, I unbuckled my belts, opened the door and got out! I'd say the chassis did it's job above and beyond.


It's bad enough that this happened, and you can say what you want about me, I know better and I can take it. But I will not sit here and listen to you guys throw your statements around with an obvious lack of knowledge and the situation, about a man that built a incredible car that not only saved my life but allowed me to walk away from a 200 mph crash without a scratch.

Dan Bills
First and most important is that your OK. I'm a welder by trade, and I saw a couple of broke welds on the car that should have had more filler wire in them. also a couple of gussetts that had about 3/8-1/2" area in the "hardspot" not welded completely around. this is what I saw plain and simple. You are corect it was a violent crash, and very lucky you walked away.

I wasn't trying to get into a pissing match wit hyou or anyone and maybe should have said nothing, but what happens if someone else builds a car with inferior welds and is hurt bad or worse. Just stating that maybe the NHRA tech should X-RAY all welds on a 25.1 or 25.2 chassis.

Have a good day, and glad your still able to be with us.

dan bills
08-02-2005, 05:40 PM
Thanks guys! We will be building something new, not sure what yet, but we will be back with something.

Larry, I beleive you are correct. the difference between the gate being opened and closed is the difference between repairing my car and having to build a new one. It could also be the difference between life and the flip side. I was fortunate enough to get my car swung back the other way so it hit the gate on the side, if it had hit head on, who knows what the outcome would have been. The bottom line is the gate should have been closed with 200 mph cars going down the track. It always is when the NHRA is there, and coincidentaly was closed on Sunday.

Sam, as you can see by my post number, I don't say much on any of these boards. Your statement made it sound as if the car was stick welded and just crumbled into pieces. Yes it did break at some of the weld joints, it also cut through 1 3/4 moly like it was butter, why would you expect one to hold up more than the other? As far as the gussets, I don't know what you saw, but I can tell you that there is not a gusset on the car that is broken, in fact where the roof bar meets the main hoop, all three gussets are perfect, the main hoop and roof bar are split in half about an inch from the gussets, so does that meen the moly was bad? No, they just happened to meet a concrete corner at 200, not much is going to stand up to that. My brake rotor that is folded like a hotdog bun, the bent 40 spline axle and pro mod housing and about 6 spots on 1 3/4 tubing didn't. I guess my point is that your opinion is exactly that, and you are certainly entitled to it. But to get on here and say that the car was built improperly and the welds were inadaqeute is just plain wrong. If it was built the way you suggest, I would not be here to discuss it with you. But I guess anyone that saw the crash, saw the car, saw how well it held up to a 200 mph impact, not a wall brush, and then saw me standing next to it 15 minutes later can surmise for themselves how well it was built. Thank you for the well wishes, and I don't wish to turn this into an argument either. So if there is anything further you would like to talk about, you can contact me personally, I can be reached at the shop pretty much any time.

Dan Bills

Uncle Robin
08-02-2005, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by dan bills
Thank you for the well wishes, and I don't wish to turn this into an argument either. So if there is anything further you would like to talk about, you can contact me personally, I can be reached at the shop pretty much any time.

Dan Bills


With that, this thread is closed.

Robin