The Drama And Physics Of Wheelstands

Car And Driver has a poetic intro that geeks out on wheelstands.

“In drag racing, it doesn’t get more dramatic than a wheelstand. Front wheels clawing at the air, rear tires slammed flat into the pavement—it’s the decisive moment between disaster and glory. So much can go wrong. Maybe enough air will catch under the car to blow it over in agony. Or the driver will lift off the throttle, and the car will slam down and crack open like a chrome molybdenum egg. Conversely, the wheelie could last the entire length of the track, with the crowd going home remembering that bit of epic awesomeness more than who won the race.”

One of Many Fireball Camaro Wheelstands


They are right! Yes, we know who won, but the conversations after the race can go on and on when someone pulls a wheelstand for 60 feet.

This is our Fireball Racecar being driven by Ryan Martin. Beyond watching him with jaw dropping awe when the Fireball Racecar pops wheelstands, I find myself wondering what it takes, from the skills of the driver to the strength and power of the car, to make this happen?

What if you go too far up and over? How do you see what’s going on? How do you keep the car from slamming back down too hard?

Read on to learn about the history and the physics of a wheelstand.

Maybe you’ll appreciate this art just a little bit more …