If the wreck on the second lap of the Daytona 500 involving Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick and Trevor Bayne wasnât 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.
âI left the pits and I felt a weird vibration,â Montoya explained. âWe were on the backstretch and we really werenât going that fast. I could feel the car squeezing and when I told the spotter to take a look, the car just came right.
âHe was OK,â Montoya said of Barnes. âHe just looked pretty scared.â
The fire was so intense Montoyaâs 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 forÂ 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.
âBout the time you think youâve seen everything âŚâ Helton said. âItâs a bizarre set of circumstances that nobody could have helped happen.â
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.