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Bucko
Site Owner
Posts: 48

I was there for the Rick Metts' crash (3/4/76). The car was Billy Stepps' Pro Stock Duster. I was on the starting line with the Chrylser electronics van. The car was doing wild wheel stands, not what these cars normally do. The car was in the left lane about 2/3rds track. The car made a hard right into the guardrail. When it hit the guardrail it was under full power. It shot into the air, took out a telephone (light) pole, the win light tower, and rolled many times. My friend Mike Hashem & I grabbed a couple of fire extinguishers and headed to the crash. When we got there, Don Carlton got there about the same time. The car was sitting right side up. Carlton went to the driver's door. It was open. Mike & I were trying to put the fire out in the right front of engine. The extinguishers did not work that great. Carlton was trying to get him unbuckled then he yelled for us to get back. A few seconds later it went up in flames. The three of us went back to the starting line while the car burned. We waited what seemed like a very long time for the fire department. At the time I was 20. Maybe the first person that I remember watching die. Then I was there to see Russel Mendez crash at the Gators. Hope this helps to fix a few things in the story. Thanks. John Howard

 

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Mel Bashore

January 27, 2012 at 7:38 PM Flag Quote & Reply

dbowles
Member
Posts: 1

Bucko at January 27, 2012 at 7:38 PM

I was there for the Rick Metts crash (3/4/76). The car was Billy Stepps' Pro Stock Duster. I was on the starting line with the Chrylser electronics van. The car was doing wild wheel stands, not what these cars normally do. The car was in the left lane about 2/3rds track. The car made a hard right into the guardrail. When it hit the guardrail it was under full power. It shot into the air, took out a telephone (light) pole, the win light tower, and rolled many times. My friend Mike Hashem & I grabbed a couple of fire extinguishers and headed to the crash. When we got there, Don Carlton got there about the same time. The car was sitting right side up. Carlton went to the driver's door. It was open. Mike & I were trying to put the fire out in the right front of engine. The extinguishers did not work that great. Carlton was trying to get him unbuckled then he yelled for us to get back. A few seconds later it went up in flames. The three of us went back to the starting line while the car burned. We waited what seemed like a very long time for the fire department. At the time I was 20. Maybe the first person that I remember watching die. Then I was there to see Russel Mendez crash at the Gators. Hope this helps to fix a few things in the story. Thanks. John Howard

 

 I Knew Rick very well. At that time, I was racing with Bill Davis who was Rick's partner on a B/S Camaro in 1971. I raced with Rick in '72 when he ran D/MP with the old Metts & Davis Camaro.  We were running Bradenton that weekend after the Chrysler test session to break in a new motor in Bill's SS/G Camaro before we went to Gainesville. As we aproached the track, (I believe on Sat.) Tom Pratt was leaving the track with the wreckage. I think the car was impounded for 1 day. I spoke to Don Carlton a couple of days later as we both were staying at the Red Carpet Inn in Bradenton and he thought something broke off the starting line. I know one of Rick's partners and we have talked from time to time about it. In the future, I may provide a pic of Rick's headstone as it is not far from my home.

August 22, 2012 at 3:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

steve
Member
Posts: 1

A good freind of mine has Rick Metts's '74 Dart Sport and is trying to get some info on it. Do you know of anyone to get info of this car's history?


October 31, 2012 at 2:33 AM Flag Quote & Reply

KARL
Member
Posts: 1

steve at October 31, 2012 at 2:33 AM

A good freind of mine has Rick Metts's '74 Dart Sport and is trying to get some info on it. Do you know of anyone to get info of this car's history?


 The car was built by Arlen Vanke. It is the "Sister car" to  the  last Duster Pro Stock that Arlen ran. When I was younger I used to hang around Arlen's shop and I remember when he was building this car.

December 15, 2012 at 11:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Bucko
Site Owner
Posts: 48

My father, Rick Metts Sr. died March 4, 1976, in a race accident in Florida. I see people have been there and commented on the crash. I was only 7 when he died. I was wondering if anybody had footage of the crash or pictures. I was always curious why the car lost control in the first place. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Rick Metts, Jr.

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Mel Bashore

March 25, 2018 at 4:00 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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