Ziggy Zivkovich of Litchfield, who has raced his alcohol dragster for six years at the Colonel's Brainerd International Raceway, won't race in this weekend's NHRA Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series West Central Division event at the raceway.
He is still rebuilding his Federal Mogul Dragster from two years ago. He wrecked his new dragster during a Southeast Division event in Orlando, Fla., on March 10.
It wasn't an ordinary wreck. He said in a phone interview on Tuesday that he lost control of his rocket at about 200 mph a little over half-track during the event's first qualifying session.
His car immediately turned right into the guardrail and went over it. Several feet from the guardrail was a fence which his car hit and eventually hit a motorhome and totaled it.
He said once his racer hit the motorhome, the back of it stayed underneath the motorhome and its cockpit broke off. He then hit two more motorhomes and two mini bikes while he was strapped in the cockpit.
"It was just me and the little capsule going into the parking area," he said.
He noted that the car "did exactly what it was supposed to do" in an accident like this.
Zivkovich, who said he was knocked out after he hit the guardrail, broke his left ankle and suffered a "bunch of cuts and bruises."
Two fans suffered minor injuries, including a minor cut.
He was taken by an air chopper to the Orlando Regional Medical Center and underwent surgery on his ankle the following day. He was released a day later.
He said he broke the inner ball of his ankle which was "screwed back into place."
When asked if he would wear a Hans Device, Zivkovich replied, "I don't think I have room for all that in the car."
He noted that if a racer is wearing all the mandatory safety items, he or she is pretty safe.
It also would be safe to say that Zivkovich, who started racing a super comp racer at CBIR in 1987, will be back in the cockpit as soon as his car is rebuilt.
He intends to race in the NHRA Nationals event this August at CBIR.
So will he be apprehensive when he lets the clutch out for the first time?
"Yes I'll be apprehensive," he replied. "Do I really want to let the clutch go.?"
But he commented letting the clutch go won't be any different when he first raced his dragster.
For now, he will be on a member of two racers crews this weekend at CBIR, including veteran Funny Car pilot Vern Moats of Des Moines, Iowa.
Last Saturday night's races at North Central Motor Speedway meant a return to racing for Tom Feierabend of Brainerd.
Feierabend, who raced several classes at NCMS in past years, raced a Wissota Super Stock.
Reigning NHRA Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series West Central Division Federal Mogul Dragster points champion Bruce Bowler of Denver, Colo., is excited to race at CBIR for this weekend's West Central Division event.
He said in a phone interview on Tuesday that his crew just installed a new motor built with Brad Anderson-built billet block and cylinder heads for CBIR.
Anderson is the father of former Top Fuel Funny Car and Dragster pilots, Randy Anderson and Shelly Anderson, respectively. He owns an engine building shop in California.
Last year in the divisional event at CBIR, Bowler broke some heads while racing.
He said Anderson's billet blocks have eliminated this problem this season.
At the division season opener in Topeka in May, Bowler won with an elapsed time of 5.571 seconds at 252.24 mph. Weeks later at the NHRA National event at the same track, Bowler lost in the semifinals.
Team Suzuki's Mat Mladin won his second American Motorcylist Association Superbike final at Road Atlanta last month. He won the second race. Jamie Hacking also on Suzuki won the first race.
Earlier, Anthony Gobert on a Yamaha won at Sears Point, California. The next race on the circuit is at Road America in Wisconsin this weekend.
Mladin is the current points leader. The series comes to the Colonel's Brainerd International Raceway July 27-29. There will be four other races, including the one at Road America, before Brainerd's race.
7Roger Rager of Pequot Lakes won the Sprint Masters Classic at Knoxville, Iowa, last Saturday night. The class is for racers 50 years and older.
He also finished 15th in a 100-lap USAX Silver Bullet class feature. The Silver Bullet cars have no wings and longer wheel bases than a Sprint Car. Rager was driving for someone else.
up for grabs
There definately will be a new champion for the Championship Sprints Special race Saturday night at North Central Motor Speedway.
Defending champion Tony Norem of Dassel races the Knoxville 360 Sprint Class in Knoxville , Iowa every Saturday night this season.
He already has a first and third-place finish in the first three races there.
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