The engine goes up in a ball of fire.
Drag racing tends to be one of the safer forms of motorsport because competitors are focusing on going in a straight line and a run lasts just a few seconds, rather than hours like other forms of racing. However, when things go bad at the strip, it tends to happen in spectacular fashion. As a case in point, watch the explosive crash that occurs when a Dodge Viper's engine blows up midway through the quarter mile.
The situation doesn't start well in this clip because when the lights turn green the red Viper takes off, and the white one just sits there for about a second. When the paler snake finally launches, its crimson competitor is already several car lengths ahead. The driver's predicament only gets worse from there.
About six seconds after taking off, a spray of liquid is visible underneath the Viper from the engine letting go. The intense heat then causes the fluid to ignite turning the car into a speeding fireball. To make matters worse, oil coats the rear tires, and the vehicle veers to the right into the concrete wall. The bad time doesn't end there because the Dodge then spins, and the car's rear slams into the barrier on the left side of the strip.
A haze of smoke envelopes the track, but when things clear, the driver is able to escape. He doesn't appear injured but likely has some shaken nerves after such a wild ride. At the end of the clip, a safety crew is visible responding to the scene.
Assuming the owner doesn't just dump the car in a junkyard, this Viper is now due for some extensive repairs. At the minimum, a complete powertrain rebuild is a necessity. Plus, there needs to be new bodywork for at least the passenger side front fender and the whole rear bumper. Even more work is probably needed, too, so it might be a while before this Viper sees the drag strip again.
Source: High Tech Corvette via YouTube