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Montoya in fiery crash at Daytona 500

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Take a
look at what must be the most dramatic, not to say, bizarre, motor racing
accidents ever. Nobody was hurt  — remarkably — but short of having a
bunch of bikini-clad Victoria’s Secret models appear from inside this inferno,
we cannot think of any way NASCAR could have put on a better show last night.
Rumours are already circulating that the showbizzy NASCAR bosses might have
hired Michael Bay as creative director.

The man
at the heart of the accident is one of our own, former Williams and McLaren F1
driver Juan Pablo Montoya. The race was the Daytona 500, the first and most
famous race on the 2012 NASCAR circuit. The 500 had been postponed from Sunday
because of heavy rain and didn’t finally get underway until 6pm last night,
Florida time.

The rain
was the reason for the presence on the track, during a yellow flag ‘caution’
period, of a track dryer. Track dryers are pick-ups with a jet-helicopter
engine strapped to the flat bed. The engine is driven by up to 200 gallons of
jet fuel. In retrospect, not something you want anywhere near a racing car, but
still heh, it’s not like anything is ever going to hit it while the yellow
flags are out…?

Cue JPM…
Catching up with the pack after a pit stop which, it would now seem, failed to
fix a mechanical problem, Juan Pablo’s Chevy seemed to ground, got loose and
cannoned in to the jet-dryer… Kaboom!!

It’s
thought all the fuel leaked out, hence the scale and the duration of the fire
which took 40mins to extinguish. The race was stopped – delaying it another two
hours. It is thought it’s only just finished. Unless, of course, one of the
team’s trucks has morphed in to a giant robot and started hurling the other
cars around.

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