Picture this, two funny cars inch to the line at
the Auto Club Famoso Raceway. The vibration from
the combined 16,000+ horsepower of the engines at
idle can be felt in the seat of the pants of those
sitting in the bleachers. Drivers Roger Garten and
Matt Bynum prepare to launch.
The Christmas tree changes from red to yellow to
green and the cars shoot off the line like jet
fighters with enough noise to deafen the best of
ears. Then, 330 feet into the 1320 foot track the
cars collide and careen, tumble, and dance in an
explosion of parts, body panels, and smoke.
The safety crews arrive in mere seconds, both
cars lost their fiberglass bodies, and crews had to
cut the roll cage to get Garten out while Bynum
appeared uninjured. Both drivers were rushed to the
nearest hospital while loved ones and fans expect
the worse but hope for the best.
All this happened last Saturday and early news
reported both Roger Garten and Matt Bynum were in
stable condition. But as later news would confirm,
Roger Garten died as a result of his injuries.
The man who had been behind the wheel of the
War Horse funny car Mustang since 1973 is now
racing in heaven.
Garten’s death is the first at the track since
March 8th, 2008. Our condolences to the family and
our fellow fans. Legends don’t die but live on in
Comments are always welcome.