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Scott Palmer Provides Update After Top Fuel Pro Mod Crash on ‘The Wes Buck Show’

Scott Palmer, fiercely known as “The People’s Champ,” gave an update on his condition on a recent episode of “The Wes Buck Show.”

Palmer was involved in a crash in his “Studezilla” Top Fuel Pro Mod during an exhibition run at Mid America Dragway last month. He suffered a broken wrist and had some bumps and bruises from the fiery accident. However, he’s on the mend.

During Palmer’s interview with Wes Buck, Mike Carpenter and JT Hudson, he took full credit for the incident.

“I told everybody, you know, that whole thing is completely driver error,” Palmer stated. “The whole thing is completely self-inflicted.” 

The Missouri native continued to explain that he was there to support the Truett & Osborn Bike Drags and, in doing so, was match-racing JR Sandlian. After sharing a few tuning decisions with Sandlian, Palmer said, “I’m going to come by you like you’re sitting still. I was just giving him a hard time because we’ve been buddies for so long.

“A couple of days later, when I saw [Sandlian] in the hospital, he said, ‘Hey, I forgot to tell you, you did blow by me, but you didn’t tell me you were going to be on fire when you came by’,” Palmer said, laughing.

As the story continues, Palmer told “The Wes Buck Show” hosts he remembers everything, including a point during the pass when he thought about lifting.

“In my mind, I remember thinking, I’m going to go 50 more feet, and then I’m just going to kind of coast by,” he stated. “Listen, in something that short, you need to lift when you think that. Don’t think 50 more feet because that’s too far.”

Now, since Palmer has had time to digest the accident and watch some of the footage, he thinks there might have been a few other contributing factors. “I found a picture from the finish line that looks like a header tube [came off],” he said.

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Then, Palmer went on to recount the accident, “I remember hitting the wall, I remember the fire, and I remember going across in front of JR. I looked over to see where his Chevelle was, and I saw his front end, but it was probably 30 feet back there, so I knew he wasn’t going to hit me. The next thing I knew, when I looked up, the end of the wall came by, and then once I saw dirt, I knew what was coming next.

“I knew it was going to barrel roll, and the barrel roll is what got me,” he said. “My arm probably wouldn’t be hurt, except I was reaching for the chutes and all the stuff with my right arm. All in all, I came out pretty lucky – no burns and that was an inferno. I mean, that was a legitimate Funny Car fire. I’ve never been in one like that. So now I can say I’ve done that.”

Furthermore, Palmer thanks the young racer Joey Gallegos for his quick thinking at the top end. “My car was still crashing, it’s still on fire, and [Joey’s] running to the back of their tow vehicle, gets a fire extinguisher, haul’s ass, runs to my car and drags me out,” he explained. “He’s got me out of the car before [the safety team] get there – this is a 23-year-old kid.”

With his tenacity and nerves made of steel, much like his idol Evil Knievel, Palmer was pushing the limits in his Top Fuel Pro Mod. “I always said it’ll definitely go 300 miles an hour if it doesn’t scratch itself first. Well, it scratched itself. That’s part of the game. I know the risk, and I take it seriously, but I knew people wanted to see [the car drag race].”

If you know “The People’s Champ,” he’s not going to let an accident like this slow him down. He’s back to planning Scott Palmer’s Nitro Sideshow during the Stampede of Speed at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas. Palmer assured that there will be some “cool” nitro cars that include fuel altereds and even his PBR-backed Top Fuel Dragster.

However, it won’t be Palmer behind the wheel. Fellow Top Fuel driver Krista Baldwin will be piloting the car on behalf of Palmer.

“We’re going to do something cool for the cowgirls that follow along with the PBR,” said Palmer. “We had a meeting with PBR, and they’re all for it.”

What proves Palmer is the perfect fit for the PBR partnership is that the bull riding entity has been understanding throughout his recovery process.

“They said, hey, you fit right in – you’ve got your arm bandaged up,” said Palmer. “They’re going to send out some bull riders that are on the injured reserve list because it keeps them involved with PBR. They’re going to come out to see the PBR car and hang out with our team.

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“They don’t look at this as a setback,” stated Palmer. “They look at it as this is our sport, you’re injured, let’s charge forward.”

This story was originally published on September 15, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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