Mark Niver, a veteran NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster competitor, became the Sportsman series’ second fatality in a month. Niver died on Sunday after the parachutes on his car failed, sending him into the sand trap and catch netting at a high rate of speed. The impact into the netting didn’t look particularly severe, but was hard enough to fold Niver’s car in half. It’s believed that Niver was killed by the impact of the car’s front end on the cockpit.
Niver was known in the the series as a brilliant mechanic and machinist, who built not only his own cars but many of the components on them. He had competed in NHRA racing for over 30 years, gaining two national event wins in Top Alcohol Dragster.
Neal Parker, a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver, was killed on June 11 when his parachutes failed during an event in Englishtown, NJ. The Englishtown track had received significant safety upgrades (including additional runoff area and improved catch netting) following the death of Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta in 2008.
Source: NHRA’s Niver dies after crashing