Video: Merchant Automotive’s Duramax Sand Rail Has A Landing Fail

Take the best parts about drag racing and throw it off the pavement, and you’re going to see something like what happened to this epic diesel sand rail built by Merchant Automotive. We covered this beast back in April of last year when it was churning up an online storm, and it hasn’t stopped grabbing attention since then.

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Merchant Automotive’s duramax sand rail.

In May, the car was out at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan, where it was participating at the MSBA Mt. Baldy Spring hill climb event. The driver, Kristi Wagner, was excited to be behind the wheel. The above video caught her second pass, where things went awry.

“The second pass was not a good pass, and it was unfortunately a bad ending to a really good weekend,” said Wagner. “Two and a half seconds isn’t much time to think. I probably stayed in it a little too long, and I caught a lip at the top of the hill. The rest is history.”

Fortunately, Wagner made it out of the accident without injury; unfortunately, the same could not be said for the sand rail. A walkaround of the car shows the front right in disarray, the tire missing and the suspension out of whack. A nitrous bottle in the back looks to have been disconnected, and a puddle has formed underneath.

Too much speed or just bad luck?

The car is towed away at the end of the video, but we know it had a happy ending. MA’s Facebook page shows that the car made a quick, full recovery, and went on to compete at the IOK Spring Fling/Outlaw race on May 15-16, as well as the Battle of the Diesels on May 24. Suffice it to say, it had an unforgettable summer. You can follow along with more developments on the car by checking out the Merchant Automotive Facebook page and website.

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The sand rail was fixed quickly to get back to what it does best. Here, it’s being prepped for a drag race in Milan, Michigan. Photo credit: Merchant Automotive

About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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