In recent events at South Carolina’s Darlington Dragway, a daring stunt unfolded during JJ’s ArmDrop event, organized by Jonathan Day, known as “JJ Da Boss” from Discovery’s Memphis Street Outlaws. In an audacious move, Day raced his 1950s Chevy truck named “Ole Heavy” down the track with a fan riding in the truck bed, lacking any safety restraints apart from a helmet.
The fan, named Randy, recounted the experience to a YouTuber, mentioning how he dared Day to throw him off, highlighting the lack of safety measures in this impromptu stunt.
“Just rode on the back of JJ Da Boss’ truck,” the fan explained. “He said he could throw me off and I told him he couldn’t do it. Impossible.”
“No seatbelt, on the back of the truck, in the bed,” he continued.
Videos circulating from the event showcased the fan signing a waiver, seemingly absolving the organizers of responsibility. While no one actively discouraged him, some advised him to “hold on” before he embarked on the risky ride.
“They made me sign a waiver and everything,” the fan said.
This action drew significant attention on social media, catching the eye of the World Drag Racing Association (WDRA). In response to the safety and insurance violations, the WDRA revoked its sanctioning agreement with Darlington Dragway, prompting a public statement from the track.
Darlington Dragway acknowledged the incident and assured the public that steps would be taken to prevent such occurrences in the future, emphasizing their commitment to safety for all participants and spectators. Subsequently, they announced the discontinuation of hosting JJ Da Boss’s event in the coming years.
Darlington Dragway made a public comment of its own soon after, saying “the topic of discussion is clear” before providing the following statement:
“In regard to the incident at Darlington Dragway on Saturday night, our staff and management fully understand the concern of racers and fans alike. The situation has been addressed, and additional measures will be implemented to ensure that something of this magnitude does not happen again in the future. Darlington Dragway prides itself on running a safe facility for both racers and spectators. With our diverse event schedule, we understand that Darlington brings in individuals from all aspects that share the same common love for drag racing. With that being said, while we wish JJ and his team the best in their future endeavors, Darlington Dragway will no longer host this event in future years.”
The aftermath saw Darlington Dragway forging a new partnership with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) as its new sanctioning body. The decision was met with mixed reactions, with some speculating that the WDRA’s agreement might have expired soon anyway.
This incident has sparked a critical conversation about safety in drag racing and the responsibilities of event organizers in ensuring the well-being of all involved. The decision by both the WDRA and Darlington Dragway reflects the gravity of the situation and the necessity for stringent safety measures in high-risk sporting events.