HOUSTON - The modified 1967 Camaro dragster driven by 34-year-old David Minx slammed into the retaining barrier at the end of the track. Investigators say Minx died on impact.
At a track like this the point is speed, but the trouble can be stopping.
"It is like hitting a brick wall," said Jay Jones.
Jones spent part of his morning looking at the place where his long-time friend David Minx died.
"He has worked on race cars since he was a little kid. His dad has always drag raced," Jones said.
Jones said that during a practice run last night, something went horribly wrong with the system used to help stop the car, known as Mighty Mouse.
It is equipped not just with brakes, but also a parachute system to help slow the car moving at nearly 200 mph.
Jones says something went wrong with that system, but Minx used it every run, "He'd have no choice on this track, especially now. In order to be able to stop at all. You got good breaks on the vehicle which he did. Don't know what happened."
Jones is grieving the loss of his friend but is still asking questions, especially about the track, "They have shortened the shut down out here a whole lot. There used to be a bunch of pea gravel here and two or three nets. There is no shut down here no more."
Road work appears to have forced the removal of all that protection and there is now just one net and water barrels, "It is like a dead end road," Jones said.
Officials from the race park did not answer the door at their office or return phone calls. The one person we saw at the park took off when we tried to approach him, later locking the gate to the park.