Mar 14, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; NHRA top fuel dragster driver Larry Dixon (right) crashes and goes airborne alongside Doug Kalitta after his car broke in half during qualifying for the Gatornationals at Auto Plus Raceway at Gainesville. Dixon walked away from the incident. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports - RTR4TDF4

Gainesville, Florida - If something goes wrong at 450km/h, there’s not much choice but to hang on for dear life.

Which is exactly what Top Fuel drag racer Larry Dixon did when the nose of his car snapped off, launching him, still in his seat, 10 metres into the air.

Crashing down onto the guard rail, the car splintered into pieces, leaving only a broken, sparking husk.

But even more amazing was that moments later Dixon emerged from the wreckage and walked away unaided.

“My car’s a mess, but I’m still here,” he said.

Dixon was completing his qualifying run for the 2015 Gatornationals at Auto Plus Raceway in Gainesville on Saturday when the car came apart.


Recalling it afterwards he said: “It’s like a rollercoaster ride that flies off the track.”

“What are you going to do? You just have to wait to land and hope everything does its job for you.

“I was just wanting it to land on the track and not in the dirt. That’s the biggest deal. Going that fast, you can tumble. That isn’t good for your insides.”

He would not comment on what had caused the car to snap in two.

Dixon, 48, was involved in a similar crash in 2000, during which he said his eye “literally popped out of its socket” and he broke his leg.

The nose of the car breaks off, launching the tail-end, with the driver strapped in, 10 metres into the air.

© Daily Mail