No matter how many safety measures are put in place, drag racing will always be a dangerous sport. That said, you don't have to lean into that by riding in the bed of a wheelie-popping truck—with nothing but a helmet on—while it completes a pass. Someone did exactly that at South Carolina's Darlington Dragway over the weekend, and the drama has been brewing ever since.
It went down at the JJ's ArmDrop event put on by Jonathan Day, AKA "JJ Da Boss" from Discovery's Memphis Street Outlaws. Indeed, it was Day in his 1950s Chevy truck named "Ole Heavy" that sped down the strip with a fan in the back. The man, named Randy, hopped in front of a camera afterward to give his account of the stunt to YouTuber Turbo John.
"Just rode on the back of JJ Da Boss' truck," the fan explained. "He said he could throw me off and I told him he couldn't do it. Impossible."
"No seatbelt, on the back of the truck, in the bed," he continued.
By the looks of it, Day has been giving rides in Ole Heavy as he tours from one track to the next. Another video from the event shows a passenger riding shotgun inside the cab at Darlington. This clip clearly shows something different, though.
"They made me sign a waiver and everything," the fan said.
In one video, you can see the man lying down on the truck, signing a yellow piece of paper. Nobody seems to be discouraging him, but you can hear people telling him to "hold on." He eventually hands the waiver back to event personnel before talking about his strong grip.
The World Drag Racing Association caught wind of the stunt after footage started making its way around social media. The organization pulled its sanctioning agreement with Darlington Dragway in response, citing safety and insurance violations. Some commenters claimed the deal was set to expire after 2023 regardless, but the WDRA announced its decision was effective as of Tuesday.
Darlington Dragway made a public comment of its own soon after, saying "the topic of discussion is clear" before providing the following statement:
"In regard to the incident at Darlington Dragway on Saturday night, our staff and management fully understand the concern of racers and fans alike. The situation has been addressed, and additional measures will be implemented to ensure that something of this magnitude does not happen again in the future. Darlington Dragway prides itself on running a safe facility for both racers and spectators. With our diverse event schedule, we understand that Darlington brings in individuals from all aspects that share the same common love for drag racing. With that being said, while we wish JJ and his team the best in their future endeavors, Darlington Dragway will no longer host this event in future years."
Immediately after, Darlington Dragway posted what seems like a confirmation saying the International Hot Rod Association will be its new sanctioning partner.
The drag racing community at large has been super vocal about the stunt in the time since. The vast majority have condemned Day, pointing out "that's how tracks get shut down." If you've paid attention in the past few years, you'll know the number of drag strips in operation is already dwindling.
Day hasn't acknowledged the backlash on social media. According to his Facebook page, the next ArmDrop event takes place at Jackson Dragway in Tennessee on Nov. 18.
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