Racing is dangerous. The faster you go, the harder you crash. HANS devices, crush zones, and the SAFER barrier make things better, but there's no stopping physics. Eric Medlen, a funny car driver was killed by his encounter with the guardwall during on-track testing in Flroida. I've never understood the appeal of Funny Car racing, but people love it. Eric Medlen sure seemed to be having fun.
(That NHRA photo is huge. Don't click on it unless you're really interested.)