Last week a few Ford Mustang owners descended on Sturgis, South Dakota for the annual Sturgis Mustang Rally. By few we mean several hundred, and yes, that’s the same Sturigs famous for hosting half a million Harley riders for the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Motor1.com happened to be around for the Mustang event (something we’ll talk about in a later article) but right now we have some rather dramatic video footage to show you. No, it’s not a Mustang going rogue and attacking crowds. As you can tell by the video above, it’s a Mustang attacking tires – with an explosive result.
The clip was graciously sent to us by Roy and Janel Swecker from Gillette, Wyoming, and before we go any further, know that nobody was hurt in the ensuing fireball. In fact, according to the owners, the mini-inferno didn’t even do any damage to the car. That’s absolutely amazing considering how big this explosion actually was, especially when you view it from the other side. Stang Jatczak was also there and posted this clip from the driver’s side on Facebook.
Trey Vangenderen was right next to the spectator wall and posted this up-close video. We totally don’t blame him for diving behind the concrete when the rubber ignites.
So what caused this Mustang conflagration? The burnout contest was held last Thursday; there were no apparent mechanical failures, and the couple continued driving the car for the duration of the event which ended on Sunday. This is a 2010 model, and though we wouldn't see factory-installed line lock on the Mustang for a few more years, this car did have an aftermarket setup. That means the rear brakes – which can get seriously hot during burnouts without line lock – aren't the culprit. It’s possible the heat from the tires ignited some gasoline fumes near the tank, or perhaps the tires themselves reached the combustion point, atomizing the cloud into a rubber-fueled afterburner. In any case, fire crews were standing by for just such an occurrence, and obviously the crowd loved it. Roy was driving in the competition, and he even offered a big thumbs up once the tires were extinguished.
Considering nobody was hurt and the car was unharmed, this could be one of the coolest hottest burnouts we’ve ever seen. It's also a stark reminder that burnouts aren't always as easy and harmless as they seem. We'll certainly be thinking twice before warming the hides on our next automotive adventure.
Hat tip to Janel and Roy for sharing the video and a follow-up report with us!