Twirling, bumping, rolling, flying, smashing… These are just some of the more subdued words you could attach to the mega crashes that seem to be commonplace in the racetrack. It is something that happens because racing is all about living in the fast lane, taking risks and they all know the dangers of bumping into other cars in high speeds.
Photo Source: thedreamzone.com
It could be an isolated case of one car going off track or it could be a catastrophic domino effect of cars bumping to each other into peril. These car crashes had been documented in video to see the amazing, shocking and intensely mortifying car crashes that you might have only seen on TV.
The list here is only a description of the location, situation and overall scare or shock factor of the car crashes. Some of the crashes are very notable and in a way changed the whole safety rules and regulations for racing.
8. 1960- Daytona
In 1960, Nascar saw the biggest car wreck ever. There were 68 cars in the field and 37 were included in the fateful accident. There were a lot of sheet metal and totaled cars but thankfully at least, only a few were injured. Throughout 1960, there were tons of accidents. Super speedway racing poses a lot of problems in safety and bcause of this discovery a new league of racing was developed.
7. 1970- Darlington
When Richard Petty’s Plymouth Roadrunner violently hit a retaining wall in a race in 1970, many of the fans could have sworn that he died. They say his arms flopping about outside the window. By miracle, he was about to survive with all limbs intact. This event has led to the use of window nets to avoid any dangers of sliding out of the car that could cause an even fatal damage. The internal structure of the car has also been changed to adapt to extreme trauma from outside.
6. 1993- Daytona and Talladega
In 1993 Rusty Wallace defied gravity and had gone airborne at 200mph in Talladega and Daytona superspeedways. The aerodynamic forces in Talladega surely caused a dangerous flight. A flipping and flying car is dangerous as it could go offtrack and cause damage to the spectator and crew. Keeping cars on the ground was a key element for safety. In the 1994 season, roof flaps were added to disrupt the airflow and break the low pressure around the car. These unexpected flights from race cars have become rare now because of this single event in 1993.
The pit road always spelled disaster. In 1990, as Mike Ritch was changing the right rear tire on Bill Elliot’s Ford Thunderbird, Ricky Rudd’s Chevrolet Lumina got out of control and hit Elliot’s car. Instantly, Ritch died. The resulting incident has called upon a regulation to control speed limits on the pit row and all pit crew are required to wear fire retardant outfits and protective helmets.
4. 1987- Talladega
During a race, Allison’s Buick LeSabre blew its right rear tire and caused it to spin. As the car was running at 200mph, it started moving backwards and as the air is caught under the car’s hind end, it rose above the retaining wall and almost got into the spectators, only to be stopped by the fencing. When the car went down, Allison was hurt but some of the fans were unfortunate and got injured. Because of this restrictor plates have been implemented to avoid going too fast in the superspeedways of Daytona and Talladega.
At the qualifying round for the Samsung 500 at Texas, McDowell slammed his Toyota Camry at the SAFER near the barrier. The car started tumbling and it was the most severe tests on the track walls byt McDowell walked away safely. This near fatel disaster is a testament to the quality of safety compared to what happened before but this is also invites one thing that could kill a driver and it is his complaceny.
2. 1979- Daytona
In 1979, Yarborough and Allison were pounding on one another in very close laps but while running at the first and second on final lap, they collided and took out each other. As the tow cars drifted back, Richard Petty who was at the distant third came and won the race. While petty was driving to the victory lane, at the background, a fistfight was happening between Allison, Yarborough and Allison’s brother. That is just iconic.
1. 2001- Daytona
In 2001, the most traumatic racing accident happened. Dale Earnhardt’s death has dramatically changed the way NASCAR looks as safety. Head and Neck Support devices are now mandatory and Steel Foam Energy Reduction soft barriers replaced the concrete barrier walls. Developments on cars became on the horizon again. Even if it were not a flying crash or a burning catastrophe, the trauma that the crash has brought to Earnhardt is something that changed the way safety would be analyzed and implemented.