Pastorini Escapes as Dragster Explodes

United Press International

Former NFL quarterback Dan Pastorini escaped injury Saturday when his top-fuel dragster caught fire and exploded as it roared from the starting line of a quarter-mile timing run.

Pastorini, a rookie driver, was not hurt, although his racer exploded in a ball of fire and sent flames and metal flying in all directions at Baylands Raceway Park, a spokesman said.

Pastorini’s car was using an experimental fuel injection system, according to the spokesman.

He was making his first appearance as a race driver in the San Francisco Bay Area since retiring from profesional football.

Pastorini spent a lengthy career in the NFL, playing for the Houston Oilers, the Rams and the Raiders.