Car news

10 October 2012

Video: Talladega NASCAR carnage

A last-lap dash for the line ends in a Ricky Bobby style 25 car pile-up

Rowan Horncastle
Car image

During the last-lap of Sunday's Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, a 25-car pileup looked like it came straight out of the movies. Actually, one movie: Talladega Nights. But at then end of it there wasn't our favourite fictional racing driver, Ricky Bobby, running around in his underwear, thinking he was on fire and calling for the help of Jesus, Tom Cruise and Oprah Winfrey. Instead there were a lot of angry drivers, lots of bent metal for mechanics to fix and a lot of people calling for the end of what's known as ‘Restrictor Plate Racing'.

For the uninitiated, this is where air restrictors are applied to every NASCAR so they all have the same performance. But this throttling of air also means that cars run extremely close to each other - as no one has a mechanical advantage. A knock-on effect is that when someone gets it wrong, the 320kph field of 30 cars falls like a house of petrol-filled cards.

This is exactly what happened on Sunday. Tony Stewart slid down the banking to block Michael Waltrip but ended up nudging him into the pack. As you can see, the end result is carnage with 25 cars being caught up in the fiery, airborne chaos.

The one that got away was car number 17, Matt Kenseth, who somehow managed to avoid the crash and cross the line first. Once again proving that: "to finish first, first you have to finish".

Is this one of the most spectacular NASCAR crashes you've ever seen? If not, post what you think is in the comments section below.

Tags: nascar



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