Daytona 500: Juan Pablo Montoya Crashes Into Safety Truck Causing Massive Explosion [Video]

The Daytona 500 is never without incident. But what happened 160 laps into the 54th edition of The Great American Race is completely unprecedented.

If the wreck on the second lap of the Daytona 500 involving Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick and Trevor Bayne wasn’t spectacular enough for you, then surely the giant fireball that erupted on lap 160 after Juan Pablo Montoya ran his car into a jet dryer used to blow debris off the track was enough to satisfy your lust for vehicular carnage, suggests Business Insider.

Montoya was driving well behind the rest of the field when something on his car broke, and he started sliding out of control toward the truck, which holds 200 gallons of jet kerosene.

Fuel poured out of the jet dryer, caught on fire and set a line of flames across the track rising some 20 to 30 feet into the air, says Yahoo! News.

Montoya got out of his car unhurt, while the driver of the jet dryer, Duane Barnes, was taken to a local hospital, treated and released.

“I left the pits and I felt a weird vibration,” Montoya explained. “We were on the backstretch and we really weren’t going that fast. I could feel the car squeezing and when I told the spotter to take a look, the car just came right.

“He was OK,” Montoya said of Barnes. “He just looked pretty scared.”

The fire was so intense Montoya’s car immediately disintegrated and the race was red flagged as officials tried to put out the fire, which persisted for some five to 10 minutes.

Dave Blaney was leading at the time of the wreck, followed by Landon Cassill, Tony Raines and David Gilliland. All of them are relative unknowns in the Sprint Cup Series.

The Daytona 500 was postponed more than 30 hours because of rain, rescheduled as a primetime event under the lights, says The Huff Post.

Th delay came two years after the 500 was halted for hours because of a pesky pothole in turn two. That one damaged the track so much that officials moved up a scheduled repaving to the track.

The explosion and the eventual removal of the truck seemed to damage the track, gouging lines into the pavement.

NASCAR looked at the track to determine if it was compromised. teve Letarte, crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr., openly questioned if the track would be operable enough to continue race.

NASCAR president Mike Helton said after inspecting the track they determined they would be able to resume the race.

“Bout the time you think you’ve seen everything …” Helton said. “It’s a bizarre set of circumstances that nobody could have helped happen.”

This is the second time in three years the Daytona 500 has been halted because of an issue with the track. In 2010, a pothole opened up between Turns 1 and 2, halting the race twice.

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