Jim Epler's St. Louis Blues
By Brian Wood
Jim Epler won't soon forget the 2001 NHRA race in St. Louis. Photo by Brian Wood
At June's Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison, Illinois, Etchells Racing driver Jim Epler wheeled his Camaro Funny Car to the line adorned with a new Rug Doctor paint scheme. It was with Rug Doctor's support that Epler experienced the biggest moment of his career, becoming the first Funny Car driver to break the 300 mph barrier at Heartland Park Topeka in 1993.
Once again, his experience in a Rug Doctor car was a memorable one. On the hit, Epler experienced a wrenching supercharger explosion, sending a ball of flame through the driver's compartment and sending the Camaro body flying. Fortunately, Epler was unhurt. After some quick work by the crew, he was back out for the next session, eventually qualifying 14th.