During an off-road race called the Parker 425, driver Christian Sourapas and co-driver John Tondro encountered an unusual obstacle in the course and had no choice but to hit it head on, sending them flying through the air and rolling end-over-end several times. Thankfully neither driver was injured—unfortunately, however, the two cows that got in the way of the 6000-pound #91 Terrible Herbst Monster Energy Trophy Truck are ground beef.
The race was held in Parker, Arizona, from February 1-4, 2018, and the video of the accident was released by Sourapas Motorsports on February 5. Not only did the wreck leave the #91 truck completely totaled, but it also left it in the middle of an active racecourse. Thankfully most of the other drivers were able to avoid the wreck, and the one other vehicle that did get involved only tagged the rear end of #91; both drivers of that car were also unharmed.
GIF via Sourapas Motorsports
Christian Sourapas described the crash on the Race-Dezert forums:
“I saw 112 mph on the GPS and was trying to figure out how to make the truck go even faster. In the corner of my eye I saw a calf and two cows DIRECTLY NEXT TO THE COURSE. In my head I was thinking, ‘Oh no, don't do it, don't do it, DON'T DO IT!!!’ But then, they did it... the calf ran directly onto the course with the mama (or dad for you gender freaks) chasing after it. Before I could even react, we were smashing into both of them sending us into a shock and veering the truck to the left. Blood and guts everywhere. I knew it was gonna be a day-ender, but as I was thinking that the truck caught and we started tumbling.
“As we were crashing, all I was thinking about was when this was gonna stop. We were in the air for a while, and I was praying to God that this wasn't it. I was afraid that JT or I wasn't going to make it. It was scary because I never had thought I had a chance of dying until this moment. It was my first major crash and I didn't know what to do. Do I relax and take it or do I tense up? All of these thoughts were going through my head. I just wanted it to stop. It seemed like we were crashing forever.
“We finally stopped crashing and my immediate instinct was to get the hell out of the truck, after asking JT if he was ok (which he was). As I was climbing out, I realized we were in the MIDDLE of the course. I started panicking. 6000-pound trucks were coming at us full tilt. I ran as far as I could up the road to try and slow down the cars coming at us.
“This next part almost put me into tears. The first car to me was my brother, Brett, in the #88 Coors Light Truck. He came in hot but slowed down significantly to see if I was OK. It had to have been hard to see your twin brother wadded up, full yard sale, but I gave him a thumbs up and he gave me one back and he kept going. He put his race on the line to make sure JT and I were alright and that touched me. If I was seriously hurt, there is no doubt in my mind he would have stopped and would have been there for me. It was a special thing for him to do.
“After Brett went on his way, I knew the dust was going to be a huge issue. The Herbst Helicopter landed (after flying sideways over Brett to warn him) and they immediately helped on flagging cars down. We put a fire extinguisher in the middle of the course and used our red triangles. We pushed the alert on the Racing Trax but had no idea if it was going to work or not.
“A lot of cars made it safely through, except for the #63 of Johnny Angal. If it weren't for his quick reflexes and superb driving abilities, he would have directly T-Boned (no pun intended) the cab of the 91. He did nail the read of the truck, breaking the right front of his truck, but luckily they weren't harmed.
“JT and I are extremely fortunate to walk away from this one. God was watching over us and allowed us to escape this accident unharmed. I want to thank Troy Herbst and the whole team for giving me perfect truck to wheel around and I feel horrible that the race went this way. I also want to thank IMPACT Safety, Cobra Seats, and Herbst Smith Fabrication for creating a product that can withstand the force of a 100-plus-mph crash. I might not be here to tell this story if it weren't for you guys. I also want to thank the Helicopter Pilot Nick Tsunis for flying us to the hospital and Chris Kemper for giving me your phone so I could call my Mom to tell her that I was OK.
“We will be back at the Mint ready for war again. I'm so blessed to be able to drive Trophy Trucks and a bad day in the desert is still better than any day at school (or work). Thanks to the whole off-road family for making sure we were OK. I love this sport very much and I'm thankful to be alive!
P.S. If anybody wants steak or hamburgers come by the Herbst pit at the Mint!!!”