It wasn't custom hydraulics that lifted Zack Allen's car nearly six feet into the air on Saturday night but the view was good from where he sat.
Allen's No. 75 car was poised to cross the finish line in second place during Saturday night's main event in the Super Street Stock class at the Hayden Speedway when his car spun out and the rear end was lifted several feet in the air. Allen's leaf spring broke, which caused the axle to rip out from underneath the car, leaving his car in the air and his tires and axle dangling.
Allen, who was not injured in the accident, walked away from wreck to the cheers of more than 500 fans as track officials spent more than 15 minutes trying to position the car so that a tow truck could remove it from the track.
Allen had been battling with first-place Nate Hitz (No. 69) all night.
Although track conditions didn't seem to be a factor in Allen's wreck, they contributed to the final main event race of the night, which was ultimately called due to unsafe track conditions. Without a cloud in the sky, and no hint of rain, Saturday's races proved to be an opposite extreme to the May 31 Benefit Night when a heavy downpour nearly forced the cancellation of the main event.
IMCA Modified drivers completed just 10 laps in the main event before they were brought to caution by flagger Rick Allen because of low visibility due to dust.
Track officials made the decision to go to a red flag in order to have additional water put on the track. A red flag is the technical designation for all drivers to stop their cars in a place directed by track officials, turn their engines off and remain in their cars. Typically, the red flag is used in cases of serious accidents when emergency vehicles and officials need access to the track.
Once drivers were positioned back on the track on-ramp, water was added to the raceway to touch up dry areas. Modified drivers were allowed back on the track under a caution with the intent to pack the new water in and continue the race.
"After about three or four laps, the track was deemed unsafe and the race was called," said track President Justin Gallegos. "We tried to put a little bit of water on the track, but it was too late in the night and the track would not hold the water."
There is a specific watering schedule to keep the track properly maintained, but Gallegos said that schedule was interrupted when the track's water truck broke earlier in the day.
"The water truck breaking put track officials in a pinch at a critical time in the track maintenance schedule," Gallegos said. "The new areas added to the track this year are settling rather well and should be packing in a lot better within the next couple of races."
Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, Gallegos expects the track to be in great shape by the end of the month.
"Anytime you redo a surface, you expect a certain amount of time for that surface to settle and compact," he said. "It doesn't happen over night and the only way to make it happen is to race on it."
But ultimately keeping the fans and drivers happy is what's important to Gallegos.
"The hardest part about being a track official is trying to balance between safety and entertainment. You always want to get the race completed, but you still have to keep racers and drivers safe while doing it," he said. "It doesn't always work out the way you want it to."
In the pro stock class, fans rose to their feet to watch what looked like it would shape up to be a fast run for Gregg Kolbaba (No. 55) and Ernie Gutierrez (No. 56), who were neck and neck in the first lap of the main event before their cars were wedged together just after the second turn.
A broken tie rod forced Gutierrez into Kolbaba and both cars were forced into the infield when Gutierrez was unable to steer his car away from Kolbaba. Although Kolbaba was able to drive his car off of the track, he did not return to the race.
"Due to the unfortunate impact from the other car, I broke some key steering components and was unable to continue to race," he said.
The race ended with Dan Skroch (No. 48) finishing first followed by Dan Stahl (No. 51) and Vicki Gallegos (No. 18).