Decelerating from a 390-mph land speed record run might just trigger your fire system

Have you ever had one of those days where everything was going smoothly and then, in a split-second, there was utter chaos? Racer Danny Thompson recently got a fantastic story to tell when he was taking his streamlined Challenger II land speed car for a test run. Everything appeared perfectly normal, and then things went very bizarre in a blink on an eye.

We covered Thompson last year when he was raising money to complete the car and take it to the Bonneville Salt Flats. Danny is the son of famous racer and engineer Mickey Thompson, and the Challenger II is an updated version of the same vehicle that his dad attempted to set a piston-powered land speed record with in 1969.

For the project, Danny pulled the Challenger II out of mothballs and upgraded it to modern safety standards. He also ditched the original Ford engines in favor of two, nitro-fueled V8s with a claimed combined total of 4,000 horsepower, which made it really more of a Challenger 2.5.

For this test, the Challenger II made it to over 390 miles per hour with no problem, but then it was time to slow down. Danny pulled the ‘chutes and got a very messy surprise to go with it when the fire suppression system kicked on due to the sudden deceleration. Check out the video to see how Thompson reacted.

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