Montoya in fiery crash at Daytona 500
Colombian racer goes up in a dramatic ball of flame at NASCAR, escapes unharmed
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.