Withheld Racing Footage

Racing is a dangerous sport, and sometimes the footage of certain incidents have been withheld from the public due to just how horrible they were. These are all of the examples that I am personally aware of or have every reason to believe exists.

1985: The Atlanta ARCA 500k (BROADCAST)

Apparently, the USA Network was planning on showing an ARCA race at the Atlanta International Raceway in June 1985 on tape delay, but this had to be aborted after a massive accident claimed the life of a driver. It was promoted as a fairly prestigious event, with a rather high purse and a figurehead grand marshal in NASCAR founder Bill France.

On lap 32, New Zealander Stuart Lyndon went around off of turn two at full speed and slammed into the inside earth wall with ungodly force. Steel and concrete barriers have some give, especially steel, and cars will often bounce off of them as needed. Steel and concrete barriers can also be shoved back a few centimeters or even break if the impacts are especially hard. Well packed dirt has absolutely no ‘give’. When cars strike earth walls, they either come to a complete stop or vault over the top of the earth wall, depending on its angle. In Lyndon’s case, the impact was so brutal that the roll cage completely shattered and Lyndon was thrown through the windshield. He was dead at the scene. The race continued and was won by Davey Allison, but the broadcast, if it was actually going to occur in the first place, was called off.


1990: The ARCA 200 (BROADCAST)

ESPN was planning on showing the 1990 ARCA 200 on tape delay, but decided not to after a vicious crash late.

A multicar pileup struck in turn four with about five laps to go, sending many cars into the wall, the car of Slick Johnson hitting it especially hard. Several medics ran over to the drivers involved in the crash, wanting to see what assistance they could give.

Bob Keselowski, father of 2012 NASCAR Cup champion Brad, was driving by the accident when his car snapped left and he spun down the banking. Bob’s car hit that of Kevin Gundaker, knocking Gundaker’s car into Mike Staley, the paramedic assisting Gundaker at the time. The race was not ended, per se, but it did not go back to green flag conditions. The field was paced around under caution for the rest of regulation distance and Jimmy Horton crossed the line in first.

Staley made a near-full recovery. He wasn’t able to return to being a paramedic, but was last seen giving motivational speeches. Slick Johnson, a short track expert whose real first name was Julius, suffered severe head injuries in the crash, and he did not survive. Johnson died three days later, aged 41.

A few years later, Rescue 911 asked ESPN if they could use the crash footage for a segment on Mike Staley’s survival. Their request was accepted, and the footage is readily available online. However, the broadcast itself has never been shown, likely due to the Staley collision.


1991: The Fatal Crash Of Paul Warwick

Paul Warwick’s older brother Derek had already made it to Formula One, and Paul was looking to do the same. He’d absolutely destroyed the field in the first few British F3000 Series races in 1991, and was looking to do the same at Oulton Park. However, late in the going, something went on Paul’s car and he crashed at the incredibly fast Knickerbrook corner. Paul was ejected from the vehicle and died almost instantly.

The only known photo of the Warwick crash; Credit to Alamy

Being as it was 1991, anyone who wanted to film for memory’s sake had to lug around a large camcorder. Police forcefully collected and confiscated all the spectator footage they could, and turned it over to the Warwick family. The one photo above is the only known photo ever released of the accident.

The race was ended on the spot, and Paul was declared the winner, as he had been leading at the time. Paul Warwick had been so dominant in the season and had built up such a points lead that he, despite missing half the races, was eventually declared champion – posthumously.


1995: The 1995 Sportsman 100 (BROADCAST)

Russell Phillips raced in a Sportsman Series that existed in the early to mid 1990s, and during a race at Charlotte in 1995, the ironically squeamish Phillips was killed in what’s often considered the worst crash seen in NASCAR’s history.

In short, contact between him and another car, that of Steven Howard, sent Phillips roof-first into the fence. The roof was completely sheared away, and Phillips was savagely dismembered. The race continued after a cleanup, and the second race (it was a doubleheader) was also held. The race Russell was killed during, known simply as the Sportsman 100, was won by Gary Laton, and the second race, the Duron Paints And Wallcoverings 100, was won by Lester Lesneski.

Footage of the accident does exist, and it’s widely available. However, the Sportsman Series races were often recorded to be shown on tape delay, and this race was no exception. The broadcast of the race was never shown out of decency, nor was the much-calmer second race of the doubleheader the next day. Whether the broadcast was immediately aborted or continued and scrapped later is unknown. The Sportsman Series was ridden of after 1995, though it did run a few short tracks in 1996 with small fields and even smaller interest.


1995: The Fatal Crash Of Russell Phillips (AFTERMATH)

The aftermath footage of Russell’s fatal crash and the cleanup has also never been released with the exception of one very brief clip of the catchfence being cleaned.

Again, the race continued on after the accident. Winner’s ceremonies were not cancelled after the accident, and during his interview, Gary Laton did not address Phillips’ crash, nor was he asked about it. The Sportsman Series, which used old Cup and Busch cars with massive speed reductions, showed the flaws with the day’s cars. Over the course of 45 races, a dozen drivers had been severely injured, and three were dead. The only reason this hadn’t all happened in Cup was driver experience. After this and Dale Earnhardt’s horrific crash in 1996 at Talladega, the Earnhardt Bar was implemented as an extra roof support.


1996: The Fatal Crash Of Elmer Trett

On August 31st, 1996, Blaine Johnson, the NHRA Top Fuel Dragster points leader, ran the length of the quarter mile dragstrip at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 4.612 seconds, a track record. Immediately after crossing the line, something broke on the dragster and it shifted to the left. Johnson tried to save it, but the vehicle angled over to the right while still skidding left. The dragster struck an opening in the wall, and unfortunately, it struck the wall right where the cockpit was. Johnson, 32, passed during surgery later that day. Footage of this DOES exist.

The next day, September 1st, 53-year-old Elmer Trett, a veteran of motorcycle drag racing, fell off his bike at 230mph and slid into the sand trap at the end of the strip. There wasn’t much anyone could do for Trett, who was reportedly almost disfigured by the somersaults his body did when it hit the sand trap. Exactly one replay of the accident was shown on the track’s big screen, and after that, the crash was never shown again in any context.

In 2013, drag bike racer Chris Matheson fell from his bike at about the same speed of 230mph. He was lucky enough to escape with little more than severe bruising and a broken foot. Footage of his spill is readily available, and witnesses say that Matheson’s crash was very similar to how Trett’s started.


1997: The Fatal Crash Of Sebastien Enjolras

21-year-old rising talent Sebastien Enjolras was killed in early May of 1997 when his Peugeot WR97 open top prototype lost something and spun out of control during a pre-qualifying practice session for that year’s running of the 24 Hours Of Le Mans. The vehicle blew over and passed so low over the wall that Sebastien was brutally guillotined, then rolled several times into oblivion. It was one of the most violent crashes in Le Mans history. Organizers responded by immediately banning one-piece bodywork cars such as the WR97 he had been running.

Credit to The Fastlane

Footage of the accident exists, as pre-qualifying practice was normally filmed, and sits in the hands of Peugeot, ACO, and the Enjolras family. Very few details have been revealed of what it contains, but it apparently shows what happened to Enjolras in disturbingly high quality.


1999: The Fatal Crash Of Neil Shanahan

On May 31, 1999, Neil Shanahan, a promising 19-year-old driver from Ireland, crashed into a barrier during a three car accident on lap two of the British Formula Ford Zetec Championship. The crash occurred at Clay Hill, a medium speed corner off of Knickerbrook, so while it was a massive hit, it apparently was not one most people would have expected to actually kill Neil. However, it did, and Neil died on the way to the hospital from massive head injuries. Oulton Park was heavily criticized for lack of proper safety features after the accident.

Neil’s parents were given the footage that was taken of his crash. They explained that they wished to understand exactly what happened. Very little mention of the footage has been made since, though at least one forum post noted that unlike with the crash of Paul Warwick, police did not forcefully seize the footage of Shanahan’s crash.


1999: The Wild Crash Of Peter Dumbreck (ONBOARD)

Ah, the Mercedes-Benz CLR…this aerodynamically unsound car suffered its third front flip of the 1999 24 Hours Of Le Mans weekend when Peter Dumbreck lifted off during the race. Despite amount of times Dumbreck`s incredible ride was replayed during the slowdown period, they did not show the onboard shot of Dumbreck.

Interestingly, Peter Dumbreck`s Mercedes-Benz CLR actually did have an onboard camera. In fact, they had done a whole onboard lap at one point in the broadcast. However, its capturing of the accident was never shown. It ‘s possible that the high ups at Mercedes, having seen the crash, immediately phoned up the broadcasting team and ordered them not to use the onboard shot. While Dumbreck escaped from the wreckage with few injuries, the onboard shot of his wild cartwheel has never been shown. Mercedes-Benz withdrew from Le Mans yet again, having done so for the first time in 1955 after driver Pierre Levegh’s car crashed into the crowd and killed upwards of 80 people, and has yet to return as of 2017.


2002: The Irwindale 150 (BROADCAST)

Despite being promoted as an ultra-safe track, Irwindale Event Center was a death palace in its early days, having suffered a fatality on opening night in 1999, a second death later that year, and a third in late 2001. It took a fourth fatality in 2002 for track owners to actually do something.

On lap 37 of the 150 lap NASCAR Southwest race on June 8, 2002, contact between John Baker and Sean Woodside in turn two sent Baker’s car glancing off of Greg Voigt’s and straight up the track and head-on into a gate, dealing Baker fatal injuries. The race was briefly red flagged, but it eventually went on. The victory went to a young David Gilliland. The race was going to be broadcasted on tape delay a couple of days later, but the broadcast was never shown. The Goody’s Dash race at Daytona from that February was shown instead. Irwindale cancelled the next weekend’s events and sealed off the gate that Baker had struck among other track alterations, never giving much of a reason as to why.


2003: The Fatal Crash Of Tony Renna

On October 22nd, 2003, the Indy Racing League held a test session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for its tires. During this session, Tony Renna, who had only just signed with Chip Ganassi as the teammate of future Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon, went around in turn three at 230mph. The car then struck the catchfence with its underside, instantly killing Renna from massive internal trauma. The accident was captured on a security camera in turn three.

Speculation is all over the place when it comes to Renna’s accident, due to how little is known about it. However, if all eyewitness reports of the crash are correct, then Renna’s crash is the most gruesome accident in motorsport history.

After the investigation concluded, Tony George sealed the tapes in the vault under the speedway. Apparently, George went out of his way to make sure no footage of Renna’s death was made public, even seizing the security tapes of a gas station across the street which had captured smoke rising. There are a few aftermath images showing track workers repairing the damaged catchfence sometime later, some of which show damage to the unoccupied bleachers, but the video of the crash itself will likely never be released.


2004: The Death Of Roy Weaver

The Goody’s Dash Series found new life as the iPower Dash Series in 2004, and planned a schedule of short tracks and speedways, with the traditional one superspeedway race at Daytona. On lap 9 of the Daytona race, Billy Clevenger spun in turn four and was slammed by Tony Billings, severely injuring Billings, who would be in the hospital for some time.

On lap 19, the race was still under caution for whatever reason. Roy Weaver III, a track worker, spotted some debris and asked his companions on the truck to park it to the low side. This was a violation, as the track workers’ trucks are supposed to be on the high side as a reference, not the low side where they can’t be seen. Roy also failed to radio in to officials that he had found debris, in which case they would have told the teams and drivers would have been on the lookout.

During the caution, Ray Paprota, the nation’s first known paraplegic to race in a national stock car tour, pulled out of the garage. He’d failed to start due to a faulty battery, but since the race wasn’t red flagged, the crew could work on the car. Eventually, they changed the battery and he pulled out. Ray did one wave-around lap and got ready to join up with the field on the backstretch when, in turn two, he came across Roy.

The ensuing collision instantly killed Roy Weaver. Ray, shaken but still hoping he’d missed Roy, drove back to the pits, and the rest of the field soon followed.

The race was eventually resumed, with Danny Bagwell taking the win. Footage of the collision way caught by CCTV cameras and a mounted wall camera in turn two, but Daytona turned the footage over to the police for their investigation, possibly wishing to prevent the heavy criticism they received after Dale Earnhardt’s death, where the footage went to the media first. Police eventually placed full blame on the track crew.

The iPower Dash Series was done in by the story’s sensationalism (Ray, who later returned to legend cars and has since retired, was blameless, but when the media heard that Ray was a paraplegic, they went wild), and was handed off to the ASA, who let the series waste away before putting it out of its misery in 2011.


2008: The Massive Crash Of Jeff Gordon (INSIDE)

During the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas in 2008, Jeff Gordon crashed into an entrance gate while trying to avoid a spinning Matt Kenseth. It was the hardest hit of his career, but due to NASCAR’s many safety upgrades across the years, Gordon was able to – gingerly – walk away.

In the accident, Gordon had three onboard cameras, one on the car’s front, one on the car’s rear, and one inside the car facing towards Gordon. The broadcast crew showed the impact from several external angles and from the car’s front and rear, but never showed the impact from inside. They did show the aftermath from inside the car, as Gordon collected his thoughts and unbuckled, but not the impact itself, apparently because Gordon’s body moved in a way during the crash that the crew found disturbing.

A few days later, Jeff asked to see the recording of the crash from inside the car. That was the last mention ever made of the tape.


2011: The Fatal Crash Of Dan Wheldon (ONBOARD)

Dan Wheldon himself died in a somewhat similar accident to Tony Renna in 2011 at the IndyCar World Championships at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Dan actually had the onboard camera that day, which ABC switched away from when Wade Cunningham and J.R. Hildebrand made contact to start the tragic mayhem.

Credit to CBSNews; Wheldon is the lefthand airborne car, and the other rolling car is Pippa Mann

Dan attempted to navigate the 15-car pileup, but was unable to. He struck Ernesto Viso’s car and flew into the catchfence. Dan struck his head on a catchfence support beam, killing him. The race was cancelled after the crash, though the drivers still in the race agreed to a five lap tribute to Wheldon, during which Amazing Grace was played over the PA system and the attendees at the speedway stayed respectfully silent.

The full onboard footage is known to exist. In fact, some fans actually viewed it as it happened, as an onboard livestream was being shown on Indycar Mobile for Verizon subscribers only. It hasn’t been shown since, and has never been leaked. A Canadian group requested to use some of the withheld footage for a documentary on the leadup to the IndyCar World Championships and the death of Dan Wheldon, and was granted permission. During the broadcast, the onboard had ended when the accident had begun. The documentary shows up to the impact with Viso, at which point it freezes.


2013: The Fatal Crash Of Jason Leffler

In 2013, popular NASCAR driver Jason Leffler, who had given Toyota its first NASCAR victory when he won an Xfinity race at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 2007, was running a sprint car race at the Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey when he struck the turn four wall very hard. The red flag was waved, and the field stopped immediately, as New Jersey rules require drivers to stop where they are when a red flag flies, even if the position they stop in is inconvenient. Leffler was wearing a restraint to help protect him from being injured by frontal impacts, but did not have one to assist with side-on impacts. This crash was the latter. Medics rushed Leffler to the hospital, but he was beyond saving. Racing was called off for the rest of the weekend.

No footage is available of the impact itself. One spectator’s video ends a lap before the impact, and several aftermath shots are available. It appears that everyone who recorded the footage chose to either give it to the authorities or withhold it.

New Jersey now requires full restraints for all racing in the state.



50 Most Bizarre Racing Moments OLD (05-01)

5. Azure Sea, Take Me Away (F1, Monaco and Hungary, 1995)

Take me away…

Taki Inoue…some of these moments are actually so strange that you can just say their name and people will know what you`re talking about. This is one…saves me a lot of work, I suppose.

…All right, brief summary.

How are you so unlucky as to get hit TWICE by the course car in one year? First was at Monaco. The Footwork broke, and a flatbed lorry started taking him back to the pits. Out of nowhere came the safety car, a Clio, being driven by rallyman Jean Ragnotti. The car was sent up and over onto its lid by the subsequent rear first impact, partially dumping Taki from the car. Taki was slightly concussed, having kept his helmet on, though his belts were undone. It turned out the Clio was being taken on a few sightseeing laps by Ragnotti. Officials said that they weren`t at fault, but said Taki wasn`t at fault either, and that he could use the spare car in qualifying. He ended up skipping the session, and would blow up early in the race. The ACO was not fined, and said they`d negotiate damages with Footwork head Jackie Oliver.

I'm alright!
Credit to F1 Nostalgia


At Hungaroring…

Strike Two
Credit to Bristol Street

…This. He got hit by the course car while running over to his Footwork with a fire extinguisher to put out an engine fire. No wonder Taki left after the season.

4. Wheel Of Fortune (Hobby Stock, Bakersfield, Late Nineties)

Sometimes the most obscure of events can lead to the wildest of happenstance…that`s fancy talk for MOM GET THE CAMERA!

Featured on an episode of RealTV was an incredible incident at the Bakersfield Speedway, which saw a hobby stock driver by the last name of `Nolan` or something like that spin in turn three and strike a stalled car. The hobby stock, numbered 5, suffered a loose wheel in the incident. As he rounded turn 4, the wheel came off the frame and rolled alongside his car for a bit, then rolled back into the car. Somehow, the tire reattached itself to the #5 car. Of course, the tire was deflated, and the #5 was headed to this pits anyway, but it was still an unforgetable sight.

…The Internet, however, has seemingly forgotten about this incident, so little was available. Hence, it was time for some journalism.

First source was the track owner, a very nice man. He, unfortunately, wasn`t able to help too much, but he did say that the incident happened before he took over the track in 2003. RealTV ended after 2001, meaning this did not happen in 2002, and the host shown in the clip was not with the program in 2001, eliminating that year as well. Due to the show getting a new host in the middle of 2000, and not the end of the year, I can all but eliminate 2000 as the year it happened (remember, racing season starts in March, and while it`s possible that the tape owner sent in his tape to the program, and they aired it in one of their final episodes with the old host, but it`s a little doubtful the turnaround would be that fast). Beyond that, I can`t eliminate any further years.

I found a driver name in some results dating back to 2000, running a #5 car and possessing a very similar name to what was audibly heard in the clip, that being Raymond Noland, Sr. The Noland family has raced at Bakersfield for years, with Karl, Sr. and Raymond Noland, Sr. both finding a lot of success in the Hobby Stock division. Their sons, Karl, Jr. and Raymond, Jr., respectively, have picked up the torches. Karl, Sr. appears to still be racing, but Raymond, Sr. is retired.

So while the driver is almost certainly Raymond Noland, Sr., I don’t have a year. If you have any further information, let me know.

3. Yggdrasil (Australian Manufacturer’s, Bathurst, 2010)

This is the only moment that has been altered from the original list. In this spot on the original list I’d included Marcos Ambrose’s famous tire roll in 2001 during the V8 Supercars race in Canberra, but it was a moment that needed pictures to explain what happened, and there weren’t any, nor were there any very high quality broadcasts available. Unable to think of something else in what is now Virgin Supercar, I decided on this moment during the 2010 12h of Bathurst, also in Australia.

Credit to Road and Track

Bathurst is a strange circuit. It’s called a ‘semi-permanent’ track. It’s usually used for pedestrian traffic like a street circuit, but when it comes time to hold a race at Bathurst, the track’s permanently set-up. So on a normal day in Bathurst, those barriers, curbs, and signs are still there, but the road is being used by civilians. When it’s time to race, they just close the roads off and let the race cars loose, very little construction is required.

Bathurst is famous for its many elevation changes and for having both high and low speed sections. It’s absolutely fantastic. In fact, the track has such variance in elevation that its official name is ‘Mount Panorama Circuit’, after the mountain it climbs. But this could have easily killed someone in one of the weirdest incidents in racing history, when THIS happened.

Credit to AUSMotive

Bathurst in the rain is extremely difficult. Bathurst in heavy rain and wind is downright insane. 2010 was in heavy rain and wind. You do the math.

…Yeah, this race wasn’t going anywhere anytime too soon. In fact, it was over, having gone between ten and ten and a half of the scheduled twelve hours. No injuries were reported.

Still, a tree falling and causing a race to end early? That’s something you’d expect out of a race in the early 1900s, not 2010. Also, in one last twist, the name of the turn that the tree came down in is Forrest’s Elbow. It’s after a motorcycle racer named Jack Forrest, who pretty brutally scraped away his elbow during a race in the track’s early years.

2. In Order To Know The Conclusion (Dutch Supercar, Spa, 2008)

So close, yet so far.

…Unfortunately, ris-timing.be, my source for the results of this race, has 404`d. Hence, I must do it from memory. My memory is quite good, but I will leave out a few things (mostly driver names), and won`t be able to answer them. Things I implied are in italics, because little was given.

Dutch Supercar allows in so many different cars that it`s absolutely hysterical. Seriously, an LMP3 car, a GT3 car, a GTC car, and a GT2 car (second incarnation of GT2, so late 2000`s) all race in the same class. Honestly, I could do FIVE blogs on the Dutch Supercar Challenge…so not to kill you from boredom I won`t do five. I will do one, but not now, let`s just get to the #2 moment. This will be long and confusing, so bear with me.

A safety car was warranted for a Porsche going off in the early stages of the first of two Dutch Supercar races at Spa in 2008. The safety car, which I will from now on refer to as a Seat (because that`s what it was), picked up an ex DTM Audi. However, the Audi wasn`t the leader, the Marcos Marcorelly in front was. Cor Euser, the driver of the Marcos, took off for some reason, likely to find a better place than the top of Eau Rouge, the most spectacular and possibly most dangerous turn in all of racing, for the Seat to pass HIM, so he could slot in as the leader. The Seat took off after Cor, maybe expecting the Audi, the Mosler GT900R behind the Audi (these three cars, the Marcos, the Audi, and the Mosler, were all in the same class), and the rest of the field to follow it, but the Audi kept its speed, and the fans were treated to an amusing sight of the SAFETY CAR chasing a race car.

Good car, horrid color scheme
This is a Marcorelly; Credit to Autosport.nl

Seeing the Seat right behind him, and possibly fearing a collision, Cor did not stop on Kemmel. After leaving Kemmel, the Seat`s driver was asked what he was doing by the officials, and was told to go find a place to park and let the entire field wave itself around. So the drivers were informed, and Cor let the Seat speed by to go find a place to do a full field wave around.

The Seat`s driver told officials after a little while that he`d found a place to park. This is when things became incredible.

Paul Hogarth spotted the Seat slowing down on the outside of Blanchimont, in the same line that he was in. Luckily for him, he was driving a Lamborghini Gallardo GT3! So he stomped on the brakes and slowed to the inside. Joost Den Ouden came across the Gallardo, in the same line he was in. Unluckily for him, he was driving an ex STW BMW…so he stomped on the brakes and couldn`t slow in time. Joost Den Ouden rode over the back of the Gallardo and angled off of it in such a way that he struck the slowing Seat`s driver`s side with his ROOF. The Seat shot off like an old street stock that just got struck in the door in a figure eight race at Slinger, as Joost Den Ouden`s car did several flips down the asphalt runoff of Blanchimont, coming to rest on its door. A few decent seconds passed until Jose Bermudez De Castro spun his Marcos Mantis, just missing the Lambo, and coming to a stop on the track. Not one, not two, but three BMWs proceeded to ram into Bermudez De Castro as he sat with his driver`s door facing traffic.

Left to right: The Seat safety car, one of the BMWs that hit De Castro, the rolled car of Den Ouden, the green and red Marcos of De Castro, and Hogarth’s yellow Lambo; Credit to autosport.nl

Unbelievably, no one was injured, but the race had to be stopped after just six laps, when apparently they had a 25 lap race planned. The win was given to Cor Euser.

Den Ouden’s car after the crash, with Bermudez De Castro’s car in the background; Credit to Final Gear

Got that?…No? Well…tough.

1. In The Fires Of Ignition (USAC, Indy, 1971)

The first same day Indy 500 broadcast was in 1971 (it wasn`t actually LIVE, but was shown the same day, a first). The race itself wasn`t insane, but the pace car crash at the start of the race, well…yeah.

No major car companies wanted to provide a car, as muscle cars weren`t selling well. Enter Eldon D. Palmer, an Indianapolis dealer who headed a local effort to provide the track with several vehicles that could potentially be used as pace cars. In the end, they chose one of the cars, an open top Dodge Challenger. and in return Eldon was offered the position of pace car driver, to which he accepted. Eldon practiced his pace car run at least once the day prior to the event, and decided that he wanted to put down something as a marker for where to slow down. Some say it was an orange flag, and some say it was an orange cone. There are even those who say that he never put a marker down. However, Eldon`s intent to put the marker down can be confirmed (though again, whether or not he actually did so, along with what it was if he did put one down, no one knows). If the marker did exist, it was removed sometime before the race started.

Another unknown is where Eldon got a very bizarre idea from. In the mind of Eldon Palmer, he had to beat the race cars to the Yard of Bricks, or else…something. What he thought would happen is also unknown, but it seems likely that Eldon thought that, if the pace car had yet to cross the line when the leader did so, it would be a false start, and when the pace car DID cross the line, that would be a signal to the flagman to wave the green. It seems very unlikely that Eldon recalled this `rule` before his practice run, as if he had dashed down the pit lane at high speed, he`d surely have been told otherwise. There are a few more unanswered questions, but let`s get on to what happened.

On race day, Eldon, Tony George, ABC broadcaster Chris Schenkel, and special ride-along guest John Glenn all hopped into the pace car and led the field around. It was a healthy field, with several big names such as Al Unser, who would go on to win the race, AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Cale Yarborough, Mark Donohue, Denny Hulme, Donnie Allison, and Peter Revson. As poleman Revson held the inside of the front row and waited for the green, Eldon accelerated down the pit lane, reaching 125mph. He noticed that his marker was not where he thought it was, and mashed the brakes. The Dodge slid sideways and plowed over a massive photographer`s stand, injuring many but killing none, in an incident that didn`t even warrant a yellow. Schenkel was badly shaken and sat out the broadcast, but did not suffer any broken bones or sprains. George twisted an ankle. Palmer and Glenn were unhurt.

Next to last image...
Credit to the Indianapolis Star

USAC chose to go with only professional drivers afterwards. Eldon held on to the car, later restoring and repairing it, until 2006, after which he sold it to a collector. The car, as of late 2014, was still in good shape. Eldon Palmer passed away on June 30th, 2016. He was 87.

Eldon Palmer
Credit to the Indianapolis Star

50 Most Bizarre Racing Moments OLD (18-06)

18. Let It All Come Down (ARCA, Palm Beach, 2010)

In case you’re unaware, ARCA is a very…strange series. It’s famous for the term ARCA Brakes, which describes moments when drivers simply choose not to slow down either until the last minute or at all and make accidents even worse. This makes it all the more surprising that ARCA actually managed to get a RAIN RACE in.

Credit to Red Line

Rain racing is part of motorsports. Every now and again, drivers throw on some rain tires and inch their way around the circuit as carefully as they can. Stock cars very, very rarely rain race, however, mostly because it’s almost always only a road course thing. Races like the Daytona 500 can NOT be held in the rain. NASCAR has rain raced on an oval once before with its European division (granted, it was at the Tours Speedway, a low banked oval that is literally, not joking here, set up in a parking lot, and hence has drainage systems at the bottom of the track), and the second tier Xfinity series has run road course races in the rain on I believe three occasions. The Cup Series has never used rain tires in a race, however. Not including the Elkhart Lake race in 1956, which came in a day where drivers could use almost any kind of tire they wanted as long as it was a certain width and height, the most the Cup Series has ever done in the rain is a practice session. ARCA, usually considered to be the joke series, where the untalented go to have their careers slowly die off, has actually rain raced, doing so in Palm Beach in 2010. And it went…just fine.


…How, how, HOW!?


17. One Who Gets In My Way (Renault Megane, Zandvoort, 1998)

Remember when Formula Three…oh wait, I already said this.

Masters of Formula Three`s relevance and necessity has decreased with F3 itself. The race, which is held at Zandvoort, saw 47 entries in 1998. It only saw 16 in 2016, none of those 16 coming from the national F3 leagues (British F3 doesn`t really count, it’s a Formula 4 league with increased engine power). On the other hand, Zandvoort is one of the greatest race tracks out there…so all is forgiven.

1998 saw a few support events as well, such as a Renault Megane one make event. A driver by the name of Van Der Waals spun in the last turn of the second lap of the race, and hit the tires hard and took to the skies, coming back down with a bit of a thud. Van Der Waals was okay, and a local yellow was waved. As he got out of the car, the safety truck came quite close to plowing him over a la Taki Inoue. However, Van Der Waals decided to stand near his car as the safety crew got ready to do whatever they were planning on doing.

...I need to start using the alt area for something worthwhile

Just then, Van Der Waals noticed two cars making contact and leapt over the barrier. Both cars slammed into the back of the safety truck with full force, sending the safety truck airborne and causing Van Der Waals` car to veer towards the inside of the track. A few seconds later, seemingly unaware of the fun that had just gone on, another safety truck arrived on the inside, where Van Der Waals` car had come to a stop, only for a third Megane to spin and strike THAT safety truck, after which a fourth Megane just decided not to turn and collided head on with the first safety truck. No serious injuries were reported.

...No brakes...

There apparently was oil down which Van Der Waals slipped in, but with yellow flags being waved throughout the sector, for the rest of those who crashed, it was simply a case of no brakes, though only partially due to driver error. The Renault Meganes run in 1998 were much larger than today`s, and had rather poor braking systems, making it excusable for the first two who arrived on scene, who didn`t know where exactly the crash was, and it`s fully possible they hit the oil on the track`s outside. For the latter two, well…

The latter drivers arrived much later than the others on the track`s inside. By this point the crews HAD to have been telling them that there was a crash in the last bend along with possible oil, and that they should run an even slower pace than the normal safety car speed, and take the middle line.

Even still…what were the trucks doing out before the field was properly slowed? I don’t know either.

In the end, the crash can be blamed on drivers entering the yellow flag zone way too fast, and on the safety crew for parking in a yellow flag zone when there wasn’t yet a safety car. This incident is often remembered as yet another* example of the poor marshalling at the otherwise excellent Zandvoort circuit…more to where that came from later.

The race was restarted later that day and run to completion.


16. Can’t Hold Me Now (TC2000, General Roca, 1988)

…Ah, TC2000…yep, we`re back in Argentina, the land of tornadoes and flipping after the finish*, for a handwave by the officials more blatantly biased than when Alex Zanardi got a penalty forgiven because he was a Champion.

This was a battle so great that the word the article I got this info from used to describe its conclusion was, `apoteotico`. Now, I unfortunately never paid attention in Spanish class, so I know very few basic words in Spanish, let alone words as rarely used as this. What does it mean?

…It means `apotheotic`, which in turn means, `having to do with apotheosis`. Now, I did know what apotheosis meant, that being, `ascension into godhood`. Basically, this battle was so legendary that it deified the drivers involved. They became gods.

…Well then.

The two Renault Fuegos of J.M. Traverso and Silvio Oltra were the main pair dueling for first in this race, which was only the second race of the year, and they put on a whale of a show. I do apologize if anything is incorrect, my knowledge of the inner workings of a car is only average, and I can`t really imply too much in an article that I had to throw to Google Translate, as I legitimately do not know any Spanish beyond some basic words, and of course, Google Translate is not always correct. So bear with me.

Nice pass
Credit to f1-web.com.ar; #2 is Traverso, Oltra is in the #1 sponsored by Miron pursuing Traverso, and eventual sixth place finisher #14 Carlos Crocco is also in shot

Traverso led Silvio late in the going, but with Silvio hot on his tail, Traverso began to run out of options. Traverso had been holding back a bit due to an issue with his engine, for which the team had applied some lubricant. Traverso started making blocks in the middle of turns, and the extra cornering sent the lubricant flying, mostly through the ducts of the car and out the open exhaust area (he lacked an exhaust pipe), landing on the track or on the cars of his competitors. While rounding the last turn for the penultimate time, Traverso`s car had thrown all of its lubricant out, and soon the engine itself caught fire, sending massive clouds of smoke out from underneath the car`s hood and from its right rear, where the exhaust area was.

Nice pass
Credit to f1-web.com.ar

Traverso then did what all drivers do routinely, and lowered his window, deciding to lap the track that way. The Fuego…yes, I get the irony…was beginning to sputter, but Traverso STILL didn`t care. Eventually, the smoke became too much for Traverso, and he started having to GUESS his braking points.

Incredibly, Traverso held off Oltra for the rest of the lap and crossed the line…all without being DQ`d. Traverso would go on to take the title that year.

Ah, champions…


15. Knell Of Our Future (Formula Truck, Campo Grande, 2005)

Formula Truck…yep, this again. These gigantic beasts are, well, gigantic, and can easily plow over a wall, as shown by a start crash in 2005 at Campo Grande.

Credit To Mecanica Online

Fabiano Brito slowed on the start, probably not due to a mechanical failure and likely due to just getting a bad start. Jonatas Borlenghi and Roberval Andrade saw their opportunity and began passing Brito at the same time as one another. They ran three wide for a short distance, but as they began to clear Brito, either Jonatas or Roberval pinched over (they weren’t sure which), sending the pair around in front of Brito and causing a MASSIVE pileup. One truck, driven by Heber Borlenghi, leapt over the back of his brother Jonatas’ truck and came down with fourteen thousand pounds of force, collapsing the pit wall and sending bits of concrete and several pit wall decorations, including a flagpole, into the garage area. It went airborne again, cartwheeled through the air and came down once again, this time atop J.M. Reis’ truck. When the dust settled, nineteen of the twenty three starters had been involved.

Reis` truck; Credit to Mecanica Online

Reis, however, was still in the truck. Like a dog not wanting to let go of a tennis ball, Heber`s truck had come to a stop atop Reis` cab. The race broadcast became an episode of one of those `How did I survive` shows, as the channel covering the race stayed live on the scene as Reis was extricated in a wild and somewhat sensational rescue that even saw the head honcho of Formula Truck give his assistance…imagine Brian France getting off his rear and assisting in helping a driver out of a mangled car. It took forty five minutes (…I guess it really WAS an episode of one of those shows, it sure fit the bill in terms of length…), but Reis was eventually removed from the cab with nothing more than bruises. The race was called off.

As stated, nineteen trucks were involved and pretty much all of the trucks were out of commission. Of course, cars are very rarely complete write offs, you almost always can use parts of a wrecked car on a new one if the old one is irrepairable. Well, not here. Just to show you the destruction caused in this accident, of the 19 trucks involved in this, at least eight and as many as thirteen were completely and utterly unsalvagable. Reis skipped the next round of the championship but returned for the round after. Heber decided against running for the rest of the year, and instead handed the truck back over to Geraldo Piquet, whom he had actually replaced a little earlier in the year. His teammate, Wellington Cirino, had to skip the next race due to his team allocating all of their finances towards getting a new truck, which made things complicated as he was the points leader. Despite missing the next race, Wellington would hold on to the points lead and win the championship that year.


14. Singlehander (IMSA, Portland, 1994)

Yes, Portland is a little bit more than `that boring track with no elevation changes where a town once stood*`. It has now become…`that boring track with no elevation changes where a town once stood and this one weird thing happened`.

After the end of the GTP class in 1993, IMSA became completely and utterly irrelevant, lasting until 1998, when it became the American Le Mans and promptly re established its old base…only to throw it away again in 2000* (it found it again in 2002). The bad publicity after the crash which ended the careers of Fabrizio Barbazza and Jeremy Dale in 1995 didn`t help at all. However, there was still one more entertaining moment in the series` run.

In 1994, IMSA made its trip to Portland`s road course. Built upon a town that had been demolished by a flood, PoIR`s little elevation change, large areas of runoff, and sweeping turns make for a track that is very easy to navigate, but very difficult to navigate well. Those who know the circuit can find passing zones in really every single turn…except maybe Festival.

Hugh Fuller was determined to show that a pass in the left hander at Festival is possible. After the late* Fermin Velez found an opening on the backside of the circuit for second position during the race, Fuller was in the mood for a crossover, and pulled one on Velez in the Festival Chicane. Entering turn two, he found an opening that closed right as he went for it. This sent Velez around, blocking Fuller`s path. This didn`t deter Fuller, who tried to get around Velez anyway, leading to one of the most bizarre accidents in all of racing.

Note that all of these pictures are screencaps

The spin...
The climb...
The flip...
...the return

Fuller`s prototype went over the front of Velez`s car and flipped over onto its side, yet actually managed to balance like that instead of going all the way over. Fuller unbuckled himself without the assistance of the officials and hopped to the ground, then gave his car a push. The lightweight prototype, just barely balancing on its side, rocked once, and, with a second push, tipped back onto its wheels. Fuller, having flipped his car back on his own, hopped in and drove away like nothing had ever happened. Velez watched this in disbelief, then remembered that he had a race to run and drove off as well. Velez would retire from the race due to the damage. The kicker?

Fuller continued. He finished fifth.


13. Hearse On A Horse (Street Stock, Smoky Mountains, 1967)

I very nearly left this one off.

Quite famously, Buddy Baker was doing some racing at Smoky Mountains Raceway in Tennessee in 1967 when he wrecked his stock car. His ribs were bruised, maybe broken, but in any case, the guys in the ambulance strapped him to a stretcher and closed the doors to the back of the med car.

…Well…they didn`t actually secure the doors, and the gurney slipped out of the medical car and bounced along the rough dirt surface at high speed, Buddy desperately calling to the two idiots to stop before the REMAINING CARS come along and turn him into roadkill.

The gurney ran down the backstretch under caution for a fair distance, with cars continuing by at pace car speed, and Buddy was eventually able to get one hand unstrapped and start waving it, getting the notice of the fools in the ambulance, who slowed to a halt. This, of course, created a new possibility: smashing INTO the back of the ambulance. Before he did, however, the stretcher dug in and turned over, treating the audience to the rather unique sight of a GURNEY DOING BARREL ROLLS down the back chute under caution. It eventually landed upside down in the mud, and while Buddy was not injured any further, he wasn`t very pleased with the two guys in the ambulance.

Oh, and the ambulance? It was once a hearse that had been repurposed.

…What’s that, you say? You’re surprised there’s no joke? Well…yeah, there IS a joke. When someone is talking about having a Baker‘s dozen of something, what number are they referring to?


12. Super What? (SuperHatch, Mahem, 2015)

This is seriously the weirdest track choice I have ever seen.

SuperHatch is another series that isn`t insanely unique, but still fairly entertaining. It`s a hatchback racing league which runs on the road courses of the land of linguistics, South Africa.

Australia and South Africa both have rather similar tastes in oval racing. Both countries enjoy it, without a doubt, but most drivers in both countries never really got used to paved ovals. Australia has only two, a big oval at Calder, which used to see a lot of racing, but nowadays is only used for an annual karting race, and the short track at Adelaide, which mostly sees drag racing on a drag strip connected to the oval’s front straight, along with occasional drifting events on the oval itself. When the AUSCAR stock car series existed, both ovals were used very frequently, but after that went under in 2000, not so much. However, Australia has a massive love for sprint cars and midget cars (which are called speedcars in Australia), and as such dirt racing there is very popular.

South Africa’s taste in ovals is a little strange. I found a little bit of evidence towards a SASCAR stock car series, but I don’t know how long it lasted, and I have little to go on besides a clip of an accident that happened in 2004. South Africa’s interest in ovals seems to be a mix of Australia’s and Great Britain’s.

There is one big oval in South Africa, the Phakisa Freeway. It has been used for racing exactly once. The Phakisa Freeway’s road course, which uses a few bits of the backstretch and the pit lane of the oval, but none of the oval’s turns, sees heavy usage in national level series. There was also another American-style paved oval in South Africa, a short track by the name of WesBank Raceway. It was very popular, but unfortunately was demolished after just four years when it got very expensive to maintain and a contractor who wanted the site offered a large sum of money for it. Dirt track racing is big in South Africa as well, but they also have a few more British-style paved ovals. Most of Britain’s ovals are very short, maybe a third of a mile, and are not banked whatsoever. They are also usually run clockwise.

…Whew…well, that was very lengthy…so what does this have to do with SuperHatch?

Well, in 2015, they decided to run a race at Mahem.

Guess what kind of track Mahem is.

download (5)
Credit to racepics.co.za

…Yup, this was a thing. While by all means they race a lot of different cars on short tracks in the few other countries that have them, for me, the thing that really seals the deal is something else. Mahem didn`t return in 2016, and was replaced on the calendar by a track by the name of Red Star Raceway. And here it is…

Credit to racepics.co.za

This is the replacement to Mahem on the SuperHatch schedule. You think it`s a good replacement?…I do.


11. Confusion And Delay (Nationwide Series, Elkhart Lake, 2011)

Even the aces can leave their brains behind.

I…don`t even understand what just happened, I`ve watched the clip many times, and I still don`t get it. All right, so apparently…

The second Road America 180, back when it was still a 200 miler, saw an intriguing finish when about five thousand cautions extended the distance even further. Justin Allgaier wrapped up the race in the lead, however he ran out of fuel while pacing his car under yellow to the finish. Reed Sorenson inherited the lead, but…no, Ron Fellows was out front in the #7. In fact, Ron was zooming down at well over pace car speed, which you are permitted to do if you are catching up to the pace car. The pace car was parked at the Kink (turn 10), Fellows was at turn six, so this was fine. However…why was Fellows out front? NASCAR reviewed the footage, and gave Sorenson the win…but what the hell just happened?

The guys in the booth did a horrible job overviewing the (admittedly, very confusing) rules, so let me try and sort them out.

Okay, so of course, you can not pass for position under caution. However, if a driver fails to maintain speed under caution because they`re out of fuel, like with Allgaier, because they aren`t paying attention, or because they have an issue, like with Ambrose the year before at Sonoma (he shut his engine off to conserve fuel, and had trouble getting it refired), you can pass them for position. However, failing to maintain speed has no listed magic number at which you can pass. If the pace speed is 45, can you pass if your competitor is doing 10? Yes, as long as their car is actually in trouble and they don`t have a decent reason (e.g. a large debris field). Watching what happened, it seems Sorenson started backing off a bit (probably to about 30mph) to make sure he had enough fuel to continue to the line, having seen Allgaier run out. Considering the two were teammates, it`s understandable that Sorenson would be concerned. Ron took those five seconds to assume that Sorenson was also out of fuel and dashed up ahead like a child ordering another to get to the back of the line because they aren`t `lined up properly`. Thus, Sorenson was handed first…holy hell NASCAR just made a decent move, how rare is that!?…Moving on, NASCAR did not penalize Ron further.


10. Peak Performance (Porsche Carrera Cup France, Navarra, 2015)


Time to delve into FIA classifications. This should be fun.

GTE: Used in endurance racing; Once known as GT2, and called GTLM in TUDOR
GTCup: Used in Porsche Carrera Cup, Ferrari Challenge, and Lamborghini Super Trofeo; Meant for those who race as a hobby, and not the same as GT3
GT4: Used mostly as track day cars, but can be seen racing in series such as GT4 European Cup, CTSCC (as Grand Sport), PWC (as GTS), and British GT
GT3: Used in absolutely everything; Called GTD in TUDOR, GT in a couple championships such as PWC, and GT300 in SuperGT

Keep in mind GTCup is not actually a class, and is more of a denotation. I’m only including it as one here for reference, as homologation is confusing. GT3 cars abide by GT3 rules, so any limits on car modification are specified by the series. GTCup cars, which, as stated, are mostly used in one make series, have their modification limits specified by the manufacturer as well as the series itself, with the manufacturer taking precedence.

Porsche Carrera cars are either GTCup or GT3, it`s usually in the series name. Honestly, though, I`ll probably miss a few, because there are just SO MANY ONE MAKE PORSCHE SERIES!…All right, let`s delve into what I know exists.

Supercup: Supercup (International)

GTCup: Australia, Britain, Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy, Asia, Japan

GT3: USA, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Middle East, Central Europe, Finland, Turkey, Chile, Scandinavia (fun fact, Finland is not part of Scandinavia), Switzerland (races in surrounding countries), BeNeLux

That`s a lot, but unlike Ferrari Challenge and Lambo Super Trofeo, these guys do have an issue.

Pedro Piquet rolls at Goiania, 2015; Screencap

The rather odd shape of the Porsche Carrera, coupled with its exposed wheels, and compounded by its flat top not extending the full length of the car (and thus throwing off the center of gravity), leads to a car that can turn over very easily. Flips in Porsche Carrera were for some time plentiful, with Australian Porsche Carrera Cup having four in 2005. However, this has mostly been rectified, and while the cars do indeed go airborne quite a bit, the abundance of flips is mostly due to just how many series exist. And no, believe it or not the forty ninth flip on this list…well, I`m not sure how many it has been, I should probably count.

Jonathan Webb goes over
Jonathan Webb rolls at Teretonga, 2005; Screencap

…Well then. Fourteen so far. That`s…quite a bit, actually.

Where was I? I don`t even…oh, right. So Porsche Carreras have flat tops. Yeah. Uhm…well, what`s the relevance of them? Well, I suppose they`re what caused this…

This is not doctored
Credit to Endurance Info

This happened between Joffrey De Narda and Jules Gounon during the Porsche Carrera Cup France`s trip to Navarra in Spain in 2015. De Narda was spun out in the corner, and Jules managed to climb on top of him. So…yeah, red flag, all was well with the drivers, the Porsche held up wonderfully under a ton and a half of weight, and De Narda was okay. Jules hopped out a few minutes later, not willing to break his skull by slipping and dropping to the asphalt. And that, kids, is why you always bring a ladder!

…Why am I saying `kid`? I`m barely an adult myself…


9. Sacred Blame (ADAC TCR Germany, Zandvoort, 2016)

Okay, now that`s just selfish.

TCR is a good attempt at uniting many countries’ touring car leagues under similar rules, but they might be trying to expand much too quickly…that’s the only reason I can think of as to why they’d include a track on their schedule without even beginning negotiations with authorities. When authorities in Monaco said that TCR had never once approached them to say that they wanted to run a support race to the Monaco Grand Prix, the internet was not pleased. The International Series’ track choices are also a bit questionable, including the Hungaroring in Hungary and the Rustavi Ring in Georgia. As in, the country Georgia.

The country
Credit to The World Factbook

The Rustavi Ring is a good circuit, and the people of Georgia are big fans of TCR. In fact, they even have a local boy to root for. I’m curious to see how the officials at the Rustavi Ring handle their first major race…though this might be a little too major. It’s like jumping from karting to NASCAR. Easy steps are required in order to be successful, and if these guys want their country’s lone race track to remain on the calendar, they’ll have to take extra caution in overseeing how the event is run.

Credit to Myracingcareer

Other examples of TCR making some odd decisions include, but are not limited to…allowing touring car series in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and the USA to use their name and hence adopt their rules, which seems fair until you learn that these series all had no TCR entries, and having its Scandinavia Series decide to run a track in Finland (which is, again, not Scandinavia). While TCR’s owners usually sell organizers of touring car series the ability to use the TCR name and abide by TCR rules, they do actually manage two series themselves, the International Series and the Middle East Series. TCR was also planning on operating and managing a third series, the TCR Las Americas Series, but that had to be canceled due to, guess what, no entries.

Despite this all, the German Series is going very well.

Credit to Motorsport.com

At Zandvoort in 2016, Nederlander Bas Schouten crashed on lap one, damaging the suspension of the car and taking him out of the race. Under caution, Bas requested that the car be thrown on a flatbed and taken to the pits, as he believed he could continue after some minor repairs. First, Bas, 90% rule. Second, your car`s axle is snapped. But he wasn`t listening, and was livid when officials told him that they would stick to the protocol: tow the car to the pit exit via truck, then the team can either roll the car back or get a flatbed, and to fix the car for the second race later in the day. Bas, bitter that their recklessness in even towing the car had damaged the undertray due to the suspension being collapsed, ordered his team to put the car on a jack and just let it sit there at pit in, which they did. Admittedly, the undertray had probably been damaged by the tow, but towing is what they`ve always done and it`s what they`ll continue to do. Zandvoort’s marshals are not very bright, but what Bas did is completely and utterly ridiculous.

Despite the fact that both the medical car, safety car, and any potential box`xers could very easily get around the car, officials threw a red flag to get things sorted out. Now, the misconception going around (I even made this mistake) was that officials decided to call the race immediately after the red flag. As it turned out they did in fact resume the event after getting the car out of the way and ejecting Bas from the circuit. Officials attempted to get enough distance in so they wouldn`t have to give half points, but alas, they failed, and so 1/2 points were awarded. The second Zandvoort race was a rainy one, and only one green flag lap was completed in between the many safety car periods, but they awarded full points anyway for one reason or another, probably because two races with both awarding half points would really not be fun.


8. End Of Vermillion (Sprint Cup, Daytona, 2012)


Yeah, Juan Pablo Montoya still receives you know what over this. The 2012 Daytona 500 had been postponed until Monday night due to rain, and the Daytona 500, normally a race that either ends at sundown or just past it, instead got started at seven at night. This was the first time Daytona had been held on a Monday…and you know what happened around ten that evening.

A caution had come out, as David Stremme had blown his engine and spun in turn three. The field had pitted, and Dave Blaney had stayed out to lead a few laps. Juan Montoya had run into some problems, and was being waved around to catch back up to the pace car, when something broke on the underside of the car and it snapped right. Unfortunately, the jet dryer was still cleaning some oil from Stremme`s motor, and…well, let`s just say that the Internet would never again be the same.

I can`t even imagine what Dave was thinking, wondering if he`d actually win the Daytona 500, as it seemed uncertain as to whether or not the race would continue immediately afterwards. The impact led to a flashover near the jet engine, after which the fire, not having any oxygen around it (it had consumed it all) and not yet having access to the leaking jet fuel, died down. Montoya used this opportunity to get out of his crumbled car, as did the driver of the jet dryer and his passenger. Terry Labonte drove over the fuel in the meantime, but did not ignite it (I dunno if you can ignite jet fuel with a simple spark like what was coming from the exhaust, but…), thankfully. Just as the officials arrived, though…

...So many images, so little room...
Credit to On All Cylinders

The fire found both some oxygen and access to the fuel and the blaze reignited itself. The track was absolutely coated in jet fuel, and flames were rising high into the sky, melting bits of the catchfence. A fire truck was called to the scene, and then another, in what was probably the only time that month that the fire hoses were needed. Eventually, the blaze surrendered, and the track was ruled to be in decent enough shape to continue on with the event. Matt Kenseth passed Blaney on the restart and dominated the rest of the show, crossing the line to win the race a couple minutes after midnight. Blaney still had a good run after that, as he finished fifteenth.

Montoya hitting the jet dryer has become something of a meme since, even overseas.

As a sort of side note, the jet dryer operator, who was later identified as Duane D. Barnes of Michigan, passed away in the summer of 2015 at the age of 55. His family did not give an exact cause of death, though they did say that his passing was very unexpected.

Duane; Credit to obits.mlive.com

7. Terra Battle (24h Race, Nurburgring, 2016)

Well, this is a thing and a half.

The 24h Of Nurburgring is one of the very few times where drivers run the full loop at the Nurburgring, Green Hell and all. So how about we NOT run it in a hailstorm?

Who saran wrapped the Nurburgring? Find out on the next edition of...oh wait this is the last one
Credit to Motorsport.com


The 2016 24h Nurburgring saw well over two hundred starters as it usually does, from Ferraris to Ford Fiestas and everything in between. This year, however, pretty bad weather came with the green flag, as rain began to fall in buckets across the German countryside. Dozens of cars went off, including all of the invitational TCR cars. The weather just got worse and worse, as it soon turned to hail. Now, hail is indeed something seen now and again in racing (it once happened during a Caterham 7 race), but this was insane. After only having raced about fifty minutes, the cars were told to stop on track and wait for the weather to improve, as both giant puddles and rivers had formed on the circuit. What solidifies (*rimshot*) this moment on this list, though, was the sheetlike surface of the track during the red flag. It honestly looked like someone had taken a massive strip of saran wrap and had coated the circuit in it. While stranger instances of weather have indeed occurred, the track`s glossy surface during the stoppage made for one of the most incredible sights in racing, and one that probably won`t be repeated anytime too soon. I don’t think.


6. Reoccuring Nevermore (Winnipeg Sports Car Club, Gimli, 1983)

Ah yes…

The Gimli Glider…

Credit to Damn Interesting

…Must I say more?

In short, on July 23, 1983, an Air Canada Boeing 767 operating as Flight 143 took off from Montreal to Edmonton. Due to a massive miscalculation between Imperial units (which Air Canada had used until then) and metric (which the brand new Boeing 767 used) and a failure of the fuel gauges, much too little fuel was added for the flight. Thankfully, they were already doing a stopover in Ottawa. But again, too little was added in Ottawa, and this time they weren’t doing another stopover. So………..

Yeah, they ran out of fuel in midflight. The co-pilot diverted to Gimli in Manitoba, which is where he had trained. However, while it was an airbase when he had trained there, it had since been decommissioned. It had since become a race track.

Credit to Track HQ

The pilots managed to put the plane down at one end of the runway. The plane quickly plowed over a guardrail and almost flattened two boys on bikes, who managed to get out of the way. The plane came to a stop just before the fence at the last turn, while local racers were getting ready for an open wheel race. No one was killed or even injured. All 69 people aboard got out okay, and no one was hurt on the ground.

Gimli is still active, and the plane itself was decommissioned in 2008. It languished in Tijuana for a couple years, and has since been broken up and most of it was recycled for new parts. However, if you know where to look online, you can buy pieces of the plane as trinkets.



Another: Roger Williamson is the prime example of Zandvoort’s poor marshalling. I’ll let you read about Williamson on your own accord. Be warned, it’s a tearjerker.

Finish: After the completion of the Turismo Carretera race at Parana in 2009, Marcelo Bugliotti, who finished third, turned second place Matias Rossi into winner Christian Ledesma, sending Rossi up and onto his roof. Bugliotti seemingly hadn’t liked how Rossi had raced him during the event itself, and took his anger out on Rossi on the cool down lap, not expecting Rossi to overturn. Matias and Ledesma were both unhurt, but this move almost caused a riot among the spectators.

Stood: The town of Vanport once stood where Portland International Raceway is now. Vanport was incorporated in 1942 to house workers in the local factories during wartime. It was destroyed in a flood in 1948 and was not rebuilt.

2000: In 2000, American Le Mans had races in Europe and Australia, which were supposed to help kickstart a European Le Mans Series and Asia Pacific Le Mans Series respectively. They were both failures, and the APLMS was canned. The ELMS did get off the ground, but only made it one season. A proper ELMS did start in 2004, and Asia got its own series (known as the Asian Le Mans Series) in 2013, but neither series is run by IMSA, the sanctioners of both ALMS and its replacement, the WeatherTech Sports Car Series.

Late: Fermin Velez died of cancer in 2003.

50 Most Bizarre Racing Moments OLD (26-19)

26. A Sore Thumb (ADAC Formel Masters, Sachsenring, 2012)

ADAC Formel Masters was not really anything too special during its run, which ended after 2014 when it was replaced by Formula 4. It was a decent league for rising stars that besides this one incident and some other silliness, was pretty standard.

2012 at the Sachsenring was another story, however. During the third and final race of the weekend, Nicolas Pohler went off into the gravel trap and was out of the race. For some reason, the safety truck driver decided it was a decent idea to park at the track`s outside while salvaging his wrecked car. The field, which included current GP2 driver Marvin Kirchhofer, along with Roy Nissany, one of a few Israeli racers to graduate from the track at Eilat, trudged on by under safety car, and of course, the inevitable happened.

Out of absolutely nowhere, Florian Herzog`s car snapped around and went right into the back of the safety truck, leading to a massive stackup in the middle of the corner which collected several cars. Kim-Alexander Giersiepen, running in the back as usual, lost control and hit the safety truck in the opposite side from where Herzog had struck it, sending the safety truck airborne in one of the most vicious hits seen in any national level open wheel series. Kim-Alexander was fortunate enough to emerge from the crash with fairly minor injuries, but the race was never restarted. Too little of it had been completed to get any points from, and it was declared a non event.

…Well, at least from all that, we got to learn from the commentator that the Germans don`t have a term for `yellow flag location`. I knew that most languages call a `safety car` a `safety car`, but come on, guys. There`s borrowing English terms, and then there`s lifting them out of English sentences like one of those grabbers that kids play with. Weird comparison, I know, it is the only one I could make.

…Halfway there.

25. The Russian Judge (FIA GT, Le Mans, 1999)

First off, I should say why this incident is so low. Basically, it was this or John Sheldon`s crash in 1984, and it couldn`t be both, as, with two exceptions (F1 Monaco because of just how much strange stuff has happened there, and Xfinity Bristol because the two incidents were part of the same entry due to how similar they were), I can`t have the same race on here twice. I originally went with John Sheldon`s crash, and placed it here. While doing research, I found that John Sheldon`s crash had killed a marshal, and was therefore ineligible, because including fatal crashes on what has been a mostly sarcasm-filled list would be…a pretty scumbag thing to do. So I went with the CLR, but couldn`t move it higher up the list. So…yeah.

If you are a motorsport fan who is unaware of this incident…then…yeah, you may be living under a rock.

Mercedes` backstory at Le Mans is…intriguing. They dropped out of Le Mans after the 1955 Disaster, but eventually eased their way back into it. By 1999, they had three cars as part of their team, and wanted to introduce a new prototype called the CLR to the track to replace the CLK GTR. An issue with the aerodynamics, however, made its way into the cars during construction, and was not picked up until the cars were finished. The flaw allowed for air to almost built up in pockets when going over a hill, of which there are a few at Le Mans, instead of being properly dispersed. Coupled with slipstream, this allowed for the car to easily take flight. During Happy Hour on Thursday, Mark Webber took to the skies down Mulsanne in the lead car, which was a complete writeoff after apparently going into the trees. Webber emerged from the car unhurt, and the cars were allowed to take to the track in qualifying, which actually went fine.

On Saturday, during a warmup, Mulsanne became a launch pad for the CLR, with Webber again in the driver`s seat.

Credit to Pinterest

This time the car ended up staying in bounds and landing on the track inverted. Webber`s team withdrew, but the other two Mercedes kept going after the manufacturer fixed what they could. Guess what happened to Peter Dumbreck during the race at Indianapolis?

Credit to World News

Mercedes parked the surviving CLR and went home, vowing to not return to Le Mans for a long while. Again*. Thankfully, Peter was okay after his midair cartwheel. It would be nine years before another blowover occurred at Le Mans, and they`ve happened every now and again since. It`s not exactly easy to completely prevent, with how lightweight these cars are…

24. Immediate Menace (VW Fun Cup, Brands Hatch, 2014)

…All right, taxbrain*, what made you think THIS was a good move?

VW Fun Cup is a one make series that runs Volkswagen Beetles, and its big race is a twenty five hour endurance race at Spa, which can see about one hundred and fifty cars take to the track at once. In 2014, however, a man decided that he didn`t want it to be a one make series…maybe a one manu series, kinda like the Lotus Cup, which sees cars ranging from the Lotus Exige, which is a GT3 car, to the Lotus 2-Eleven, which an ultralight open top car like the Westfield Cup or Caterham 7…yes, I know Caterham 7s are just rebranded and modernized Lotus 7s, but Caterham won the lawsuit, so I`m including it.

In the summer of 2014, a man decided to drive the Volkswagen Polo onto the circuit at Brands Hatch with his girlfriend in the passenger seat, leading to rather audible confusion from the track`s announcer. The girlfriend, who was the actual owner of the car, was of course beginning to panic, but the driver just kept going, with a friend in the back filming it on a cell phone and laughing like a psychopath. As the Polo had actually left from the pit lane, one driver was delayed in returning to the track (he later uploaded the footage of the Polo pulling in front of him onto his channel, which identified the delayed racer as Jon Tomlinson), and another driver, whose name wasn`t given, slowed up and almost caused a pileup, believing the safety car was out. The four hour endurance race was ended with a half hour to go, and the driver`s girlfriend was taken to the hospital in hysterics, made worse due to her having a blood pressure disorder (which the driver nor his friend were aware of, apparently).

Credit to Enterprise and Dailymail

Later that year, the track invader, who was eventually ID`d as twenty two year old Jack Cottle of East Sussex, was jailed for eight months. The friend in the back seat`s punishment was not made immediately clear. The girlfriend, Saskia Fisk, later specified that they were only `seeing one another` at the time and that she wouldn`t be talking to Jack nor his friend, Zac Copson, anytime soon.

Slick hairdo bruh
Credit to Mirror

Honestly, though, while I find Jack`s move utterly disgusting from a safety perspective and the fact that things could have gone much worse, I also must say that if I had a girl that I liked who looked like this…

Credit to Daily Mail

…I would make sure that my actions did NOT cause her insane amounts of anxiety and stress…then again, I`m probably not the best person to give that advice…let`s continue on with the list.

23. To Tell The Truth (Barber Dodge, Elkhart Lake, 1995)

Well…that`s new.

I don`t know much about Barber Dodge Pro Series, though really not much needs to be said. It appears to have been a decent series for the up and coming open wheelers in North America. I do know that they ran Daytona once, which very rarely sees open wheel racing. To my knowledge, a regional Formula Ford series run by the SCCA is all that Daytona sees in terms of open wheelers, though they did see the 2015 runoffs as well. They mostly supported CART, though street races in support of national sports car series were also common, such as one in support of Trans Am`s rather bizarre race at the Reno Hilton, a layout that included the hotel`s porte cochere.

One of these racers showed that he was most certainly not one of those young talented drivers in 1995 at Road America. The leader decided to have some fun with the rule saying that the leader controls the run to the timing line, and inched up the hill. While I don`t know why he did this, the surrounding drivers saw what was going on and, if they weren`t already in a low gear (which they should have been, as it was still the pace lap), shifted to one, preparing to shift to a high gear once they approached the timing line. Albert Spinola, however, was either not in a proper gear for the pace lap or switched to a higher gear, failing to notice the slow pace. Whatever the reason, Albert accelerated at double the speed the rest of the cars were running at, and flipped over after riding over the top of the car in front of him. Due to lack of records, I was not able to find if Albert was a DNS in race two or if the car was repaired in time for the second race in what was the year`s only doubleheader, but I do know that Albert did not show up for the rest of the season.

In 2003, a falloff in field size (first round was 27, last round was 19) plus the planned transition from CART to Champ Car led to Skip Barber choosing to focus on their racing school, and thus Barber Dodge Pro was done after almost twenty seasons. It did its job, however, as champions include Jeff Simmons, Kenny Brack, AJ Allmendinger, and Bryan Herta, along with some lesser, but still fairly notable names such as Nico Rondet and Fredrik Larsson.

22. Mounting The Fence (V8SC, Sydney, 2010)

Championship battles are fun. Championship battles in monsoons are really fun.

Almost all Australian championships use a similar points quirk that makes things interesting, but can kill a league quite easily. I`d best explain it as an example.

So you`re lucky enough to race in F1. You crash out during the race. Chances are, you finished outside the top ten, so you get no points. But the next race is a real smashfest, and you crash, but still finish tenth. So do you get the one point given to tenth place?…Yes, as long as you completed enough of the race to be classified.

So F1 didn`t work out so well, and the next year you move to Virgin Supercars in Australia. Your first race goes poorly, and you finish last. However, everyone gets points in Virgin Supercars, so you still get a few. Now it`s race two, and you`re running all right, but crash late. The race has been quite messy, and you finish midfield. So, do you get points?…No. You were not running at the checkers. You must finish the last lap to receive your finishing position`s points in Virgin Supercars, made better by the fact that there is no classification rule. In FIA sanctioned competition, a car that fails to finish, but still completes 90% of the laps, can still get points, but not in Virgin Supercars. This theoretically (it will never happen) means that everyone except for one car could crash on the penultimate lap, and that one car is the only one who gets points. In that situation, a red flag would likely be flown and the results would revert to the prior lap, but via a literal interpretation of the rules, it is theoretically possible.

Now, this points table defines Aussie racing. Almost everyone uses it. In Virgin Supercars, which has a License to Race system not unlike NASCAR’s Charters, the field sizes very rarely grow or shrink. Whatever it is at the opener, it’ll likely be at the finale. The big races at Sandown and Bathurst often see one or two one offs, but that’s about it. Not giving points to those who didn’t finish the race makes for consistency being vital, and it works very well in Virgin Supercars. In club and amateur level events, it makes it so those with a lot of money can’t just throw their cash at the car and make it go. If their car doesn’t finish, they get no points. This keeps points battles interesting, since both the haves and the have nots go in with a shot. Of course, if the haves actually resource their money well, they’ll almost always win. But if they don’t, they could be beaten by one of the independent have nots, some of which only have one car in their shop.

Now, that’s actually pretty brilliant, so where’s the issue?…If the field size is low, or the race is messy. For those who fail to finish in small fields, the penalty is catastrophic. The standard Aussie points system awards everyone who finishes points, there is no lower limit like in FIA-sanctioned events (and again, those who fail to finish in FIA races can still get points if they are scored in the top ten and have finished 90% of the race). If the field size is ten, and everyone finishes, tenth doesn’t get too much (to my knowledge, they get 39 compared to the winner’s 75), but they still get quite a few points. If the field size is ten, and five people finish, sixth place just missed out on a potential 51 points, two thirds what the winner got. It’s a massive Catch 22.

This all became apparent in 2010. Entering Homebush, James Courtney lead the championship with 2,932 points. Jamie Whincup had 2,879, Mark Winterbottom had 2,729. Frosty`d need a miracle for the title, as points were doubled (i.e. 150 for the winner, and two races were being held).

And then, with fifteen laps to go in race one, a rainstorm hit, starting at the west half of the circuit. Bizarrely, the front running competitors decided NOT to pit for rain tires. While it was at the other side of the track from the pit lane, methinks even from there you can see that it`s pouring at the other side either by radar or with your own two eyes. But by the time they did finally notice the gigantic green spot/rain cloud, their drivers had passed pit in.

But that wasn`t the end of it. Despite having a full chicane to recognize that it was raining and that maybe slow and steady would win this race, the drivers decided to race normally on dry tires in the wet. And with that, the fate of eleven drivers was sealed. Even worse, 75% had long since been passed, but the officials decided NOT to end the race. JONATHON WEBB WOULD END UP WINNING.

This ridiculous set of moves by both drivers and officials meant that Frosty and Whincup would be getting zero points in race one, while Courtney returned to the race after the pileup and netted sixty points, meaning the only chance Whincup had left would be if Courtney DNF`d race two.

Dry tires, really?
Credit to Motorsport.com

Guess what DIDN`T happen.

21. Dallarism (Italian F3, Monza, 2012)

Speaking of, what kind of a name is Mygale?

While without a doubt Euroformula Open and European Formula Three are doing fine, national Formula Three leagues are now…kinda irrelevant. Japan, Britain, Austria, Australia, and Brazil are the only countries to have non historic Formula Three national series, with Britain`s being a renamed Formula 4 league with increased pace (aka it`s an F4 league using F4 cars that have been `tuned up` to run at the pace of F3 cars), Austria`s being a partial historic league, and Australia`s series just barely getting by year after year, and was actually downgraded after 2015. Oh, and Switzerland has an F3 league that runs hillclimbs. Doesn`t count. Nor does Chile’s league, which is not sanctioned by the FIA, and I don’t think has even been recognized by them.

To think so many countries once had national F3 series…what, you want a full list? Okay, here`s a full list of countries that once had a Formula Three series.

*ahem* Spain (Spanish F3 still exists as a subchampionship in Euroformula Open, but not as an actual league), France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Russia, Turkey, Greece, East Germany, United States, Mexico (actually, Mexico had two). Well then.

All right, onto the moment. Ten cars showed up to the very last race for Italian F3 at Monza in 2012, eight Dallaras and two Mygales. Romain Agostini`s Mygale and the two Dallaras of Eddie Cheever III and Brandon Maisano had the big shot at the title entering the race, which consisted of two features and a sprint, instead of the standard one feature and one sprint. Eddie Cheever III won the first round, but was DQ`d from race two, as was Maisano (unsure of the reason). Agostini didn`t do as well as he wanted in race two, but oh well, he was the champion! The sprint race was the last one up, and he had a gap that simply could not be surmounted!

…And then the weird stuff started. An infraction that I was not able to find specifics to meant that every single Dallara on the grid was disqualified from race three. Agostini and Nicolas Latifi were the only ones classified that race, and it was a one two for them, being the only two driving Mygales.

…I have a feeling that the reason they were DQ`d is pretty basic, but I searched for about a half hour and got nothing beyond something on their cars that wasn`t allowed. Probably won`t be long before I am told what it is…

20. No Thanks (F1, Montreal, 1991)

This has happened a few times, but I`m only going to include this one.

Premature celebrations are probably the funniest style of fail in the eyes of the internet. I decided to only include one on here, and it`s this one, the first instance of a driver leading every single lap in an F1 race except for the last.

…I think the pictures will explain this one. Way to go, Nigel Mansell. It takes a certain type of idiot to let the car die because you were too busy waving to the fans to notice that you should probably take care of your gearbox.

Nigel Mansell (background) gets overtaken by Nelson Piquet; Screencap
Don`t believe me?
Doubt I will ever say this again, but Credit to Wikipedia

19. Well, Okay, If You Insist (WTCC, Pau, 2009)

I actually don`t find this one too weird, but you guys would not forgive me if I left this one off.

The World Touring Car Championship came about in 1987, running in Europe, Oceania, and once in Asia. It was very, VERY popular, and what`s what did it in. The FIA saw that the series` popularity might threaten that of F1`s, and bye bye WTCC. It returned in a one weekend sort of tourney format in the mid 90s, and there was of course the failed International Touring Car Championship in 1996, but a legitimate WTCC only returned in 2005, with its big race being the finale at Macau. Macau was chucked for 2015, but returns in 2017. Let`s see if it`ll make this series better.

Franz Engstler was one of the many to make the jump to TCR, but now that WTCC is regaining ground, TCR seems much less inviting. It doesn`t help they lied about running Monaco in 2017 when they hadn`t even told officials that they were interested, but that`s neither here nor there. Engstler`s career dates back years, and he`s one of the most experienced touring car drivers out there…you know what, why the hell am I telling you the whole backstory? You know what happened. It went absolutely viral, after all.

After a chaotic first lap at Pau in 2009…

Credit to Crash.net

FAILURE TO YIELD!…Yeah, that was it for WTCC at Pau…


Again: They withdrew for the first time after the 1955 Le Mans Disaster, which killed 80+ spectators and driver Pierre Levegh.

Taxbrain: This is an inside joke, and since those don’t fly in journalism, I’ll explain it real quick. This is a variant on insults such as ‘birdbrain’, and is also a reference to the company Taxbrain, which, in 2006, decided to film a commercial in which a man stole a super late model that they sponsored out of victory lane – without informing the driver, Justin Philpott. It, of course, wasn’t received well. This moment would have made the list easily had Justin not let the air out of the band and re-signed them to be his sponsor in 2007 a few weeks later…

50 Most Bizarre Racing Moments OLD (39-27)

39. Betting It All On The Engine’s Roar (FIA GT World Cup, Macau, 2016)

Well, I suppose that works…

Laurens Vanthoor probably won`t forget his most recent victory anytime too soon.

The GT World Cup is a race that was started in 2015 at Macau. The qualifier is 12 laps of the long and twisty street layout, while the big race is 18 laps. It brings together sports car drivers from several different series (mostly Blancpain, but with a few GT Asia, Australian GT, and British GT drivers). Macau`s highway section allows for some very high speeds to be reached, and the backside of the course is not only slow and thin, but it`s full of elevation changes.

The track
Credit to racingcircuits.info

One of the more famous turns at Macau is Mandarin, a full speed right hander. Massive crashes have occurred here, including a fatal crash in 2012 which saw Phillip Yau go full speed into the wall in an old WTCC car during a touring car support event. A chicane is not an option, however, as it didn`t work with Adelaide`s eighth turn, which is actually quite a bit slower than Mandarin, nor is a tire wall, which will send cars back in front of the field in what`s already a blind turn. Crashes here are, as you can imply, very vicious, but sometimes they are spectacular.

On lap six of the Main Race in 2016, Earl Bamber in a Porsche made a move and made it stick heading towards Mandarin. Laurens Vanthoor, of Belgium, completely missed the apex of Mandarin while attempting to surge his way back on past Earl Bamber, and off into the barrier he went. And then…this.

The flip
Credit to Motorsport.com

Laurens blew over, sliding the Audi R8 LMS ultra on its lid down the highway. He scrambled out unhurt, but the race had to be halted. It would not resume, and, to get results, officials reverted to the running order on lap five, the last completed lap (which is what the FIA rulebook says is to be done if the race has to be called early). This move gave Laurens Vanthoor the victory.

…Wonder if he did this on purpose…probably not, actually.

Credit to MCN; Yes, they do this at Macau


38. Where`s The Leader? (F1, Monaco, 1982)

Hey, where`d everybody go?

Monaco has had some interesting years in the past. Never mind the fact that it`s a circuit that F1 would not be allowed to race upon if it was new (…then how the hell did Baku get approved? I don`t get it…), Monaco…you know what, I think I just dug myself into a grammatical hole, let`s just get to what happened in this race.

That was supposed to be humorous, not me being lazy with my dictation and syntax. Just making sure that’s understood.

Alain Prost and Ricardo Patrese led most of the way. On lap 74 of 76, Prost crashed in the Chicane Du Port out of first. The next lap, Patrese spun in Loews, and took awhile to get refired and even longer to find a good place to turn around.

The race
Patrese leads Pironi, credit to Essentially Sports

This gave Didier Pironi the lead, with Andrea De Cesaris not far behind. It would have been an emotional win for Pironi, who had just lost his teammate the race prior. Unfortunately, Pironi ran out of fuel in the tunnel on the final lap, and before De Cesaris could even take first, he ran dry.

By this point, James Hunt, the commentator, was getting impatient. With Prost crashed, Patrese stalled, and Pironi and De Cesaris out of gas, Derek Daly`s destroyed car was to take the lead, but he blew his gearbox before even starting the last lap, and thus, one of the best lines in racing history was uttered by Hunt, `Well, we`ve got this ridiculous situation where we`re all sitting by the start finish line waiting for a winner to come past and we don`t seem to be getting one!`

Patrese managed to get his car rolling downhill and got going, eventually crossing the line in first. Guys, this is Monaco, the most prestigeous race on the schedule! Why don`t you want to win?

…As for the running order…one lap off were the stalled cars of Pironi and De Cesaris, still given the second and third spots respectively, Nigel Mansell, Elio De Angelis, and Derek Daly, who was two laps down and stalled on the track as well, rounded out the points, with Alain Prost in seventh. Only five cars were technically running at race`s end…which is not the worst* it`s ever gotten, by the way.


37. So Close, Yet So Far (IRL, Texas, 2001)

Well, that was embarrassing. Both for me and them.

Champ Car* and Indycar merging in 2008 saved American open wheel racing in the eyes of some, and ruined it in the eyes of others, but something most people can agree on is that the early days of the IRL were absolutely terrible. Poor organizational decisions, HORRIBLE track choices (one of which was Dover), and little regard for safety made the IRL a complete and utter disaster. While Indycar is now a thrilling series to watch (whether or not it`s enjoyable is up to you), from the day it began in 1996 it was unbearable. Again, it`s debatable as to when it improved, or if it was just CART getting worse with several ridiculous and sometimes horrible crashes, decisions by the high ups that would make the day`s IRL or even present day NASCAR blush, and several last minute race cancellations, such as Hawaii in 1999 (which was a no points race), Texas in 2001, and Fontana in 2003.

But again, the IRL had so many faults that calling it `better` would be an empty argument, as one thing CART at least attempted to focus on was safety. Terrifying accidents were a common occurrance early on, and while a certain crash at Atlanta (…again…) comes to mind, there`s nothing like the leader coming up into your path…

IRL used to run two Texas races for some reason, and during the first of the year in 2001, we got a glimpse into the eyes of a driver when being blindsided. Greg Ray dominated most of the race, but with a bit under five to go, was starting to fall back, with Scott Sharp and Eddie Cheever, Jr. on his tail. An on board shot of Cheever was being shown on the backstretch…



Greg Ray came up on the slow car of Robbie McGehee on the backstretch. Ray ignored the lane McGehee had given him in the middle and instead ducked low. Ray, famous for a win or die trying attitude and wanting to prevent a side by side battle between himself and the fast approaching Scott Sharp, ducked to the inside of McGehee off of two. McGehee noticed this and held his line, but Ray shifted back out a little too early, sending himself into the wall and McGehee straight into Cheever, but missing Sharp, who won under yellow. Greg Ray and Cheever were unhurt. McGehee was battered, but all in all okay.

The crash itself
Credit to @historyinindy


36. Return To Zero (Blancpain, Spa, 2011)

Upside down in the pit lane? Really?

Nikolaus Mayr Melnhof of Austria, Eugenio Amos of Italy, and Germany’s Prince Albert Von Thurn Und Taxis, a billionaire leader of one of Germany’s Houses, came together for the 2011 24h of Spa in a Lamborghini Gallardo. All are talented drivers, especially Prince Albert, who despite having an incredible amount of money (2.5 billion US Dollars, last I checked) is very good behind the wheel. Unfortunately, their effort ended just past the second hour.

Spa has two pit lanes, the F1 pit lane, where cars enter off the chicane and exit off of La Source, and the regular pit lane, which is entered off of La Source and exited off of Eau Rouge, with an access area lasting through Radillon. If the event has a large field size, such as the Spa 24h, the pit lanes are combined.

Entering the pit lane too quickly, Mayr Melnhof slid his car on the wet access road. The car shot across the grass and struck a barrier right in front of the marshals, flipping the Lamborghini onto its side and, say it with me, because I know I say it a lot, WARRANTING A SAFETY CAR.

Credit to GTspirit

…Mayr Melnhof was okay.

How do you flip at pit entrance…?


35. Screw The Rules (F1, Hockenheim, 1977)

…I have connections!

Remember when Brett Bodine failed to qualify for the Brickyard 400 by 0.001? Yeah, that stunk. You know what he did after that?…Probably cry, but he accepted his failure to make the show. He didn`t take to the track anyway. Take notes, Hans Heyer.

By no means was Hans Heyer a bad driver. In fact, he was an excellent touring car driver, winning the European Touring Car Championship in 1974 and consistently running very well in his home country`s national leagues. However, I think someone failed to understand that there exist very few drivers who are excellent in multiple types of cars. And Heyer was not one.

Heyer was picked up by a backmarker team running a one year old Penske chassis in 1977 for the German Grand Prix, likely on the basis of his experience in racing as a whole and his familiarity with the track and not much else. Penske`s F1 team was okay, netting a win in 1976. However, an excellent F1 chassis should be competitive for at least another year or two. The chassis’ inferiority come 1977, coupled with a driver who didn`t have very much experience with open wheelers and a team that didn’t know what they were doing, led to Hans failing to qualify. In fact, his best lap in qualifying was four tenths too slow, a massive margin in racing. It probably would have been worse if he didn`t know the track so well. So now what? Did he go home?

Yeah, no. That`s not him. He wasn`t going to spend his country`s home race flippin` burgers. Hans wanted to compete in his home race, and, to the knowledge of very few, he hopped in his car and took to the circuit. It`s unknown as to whether or not the team knew about this (the answer is pretty obvious, but out of decency and lack of physical proofI will not state what it is). As for whether the officials really failed to notice or Hans, who knew the track marshals very well, simply asked them to turn a blind eye, I won`t make an assumption again out of decency, as again I lack proof. In any case, it promptly lasted ten laps before breaking down, and he was DSQ`d. Heyer, who would find further success elsewhere, did not race in F1 again.


Absolutely brilliant.


34. Melody Of Not Slowing Down (CART, Surfer`s Paradise, 2002)

…This’ll be a long one.


CART was the go-to series for American open wheel racing for many years. A breakaway series called the IRL, the Indy Racing League, got started in 1996, but CART was still going strong, despite some bizarre calls by the officials now and again. On the other hand, the IRL was barely afloat. Sure, it sanctioned the Indy 500, but not much else. Starting in 1996, though, the two had so many failures for a couple years that they cancelled each other out.

1996: CART had the start crash at Michigan, which was supposed to be a prestigious event; IRL had Scott Brayton’s death, which happened in Indy 500 final practice after Scott had already won the pole

1997: CART had the Vancouver broadcast, one of the worst in history; IRL had the ‘wrap around’ schedule idea (in which the season started in fall 1996 and ended at the 500 in May 1997) and the promoters option fiasco* at Indy

1998: CART had the death of three spectators at Michigan, after which they did not stop the race; IRL had the crashfest at Dover

1999: CART had the death of Greg Moore at Fontana, the second of the year and one that, besides being fully preventable, didn’t even end the race (Richie Hearn came close to crashing in the same manner later in the event); IRL had Dover again and Charlotte, in which a crash killed three spectators and the IRL cancelled the round to save face

By 2000, neither were doing well. But then, a miracle happened. The IRL ran an excellent, excellent race at Texas that summer, saving not only the IRL, but the Texas Motor Speedway, which was starting to be ignored by the local populace only a few years after it was built. CART didn’t do much in 2000 whatsoever.

In 2001, the IRL kept its nose clean, but CART had two controversies: the cancellation of a race at Texas after qualifying due to driver safety (they were hitting some incredibly high G-forces for very long periods of time) and the crash of Alex Zanardi at Lausitz, who was struck at full speed by Alex Tagliani after Zanardi spun out. Zanardi survived, but he lost both his legs.

The events in Queensland in 2002 spelled disaster for CART. In this race, a massive downpour struck the tight street circuit, yet the race continued on as planned, leading to…this.

Credit to V8Central

While admittedly this was an accident in most senses of the word, as Queensland couldn’t just have been pushed off until the next day (the deconstruction of street circuits usually starts immediately after the race ends, and the longer it takes to take apart the circuit, the more money the city loses), fans were still annoyed to see the race going behind the safety car again. Eventually, CART decided that the race would be cut from 70 to 50 laps, then announced at the possible last second that it would be cut further from 50 to 41. In the end, it ended up lasting 40 laps, mostly behind the safety car. CART’s uncertainty over when to end the race cost them many fans and even a couple teams, and it heavily contributed to their eventual buyout by the IRL.


33. Ode To ARCA Brakes (ARCA, Daytona, 2005)

It`s not enough, it`s not enough, it never was nor will be…

What in the world happened during the 2005 ARCA Daytona 200? Clair Zimmerman took to the skies in his outdated Pontiac and damaged the catchfence despite being at pretty low speed, Blake Feese decided to go bowling in the pit lane BEHIND the pit wall (remember when he was being touted as the next big thing? THAT didn`t go as planned…), and…oh yeah. The crash at the end.

The epitome of `The Next Big Thing…No, Really, I Promise`, Todd Kleuver, made himself known to the world…by barrel rolling down the back chute during a catastrophic pileup that ended the race just past the three quarter mark, though it probably wouldn`t have gone on much longer, as they`d run out of time due to the red flags and slowdown periods (to think Talladega was still 300 miles in 2005…).

Kluever’s car on display; Credit to Tim Terry

About twenty seconds later, the late* Dan Shaver made things worse by refusing to slow the hell down and plowing into another car, sending him airborne and eventually upside down.


Shaver goes over
Shaver goes over; Credit to drinkthis.typepad.com

…Your future Cup stars, everyone…you know what, I`m curious. Is there ANYONE who was in the field that day who either had a Cup win already or has since won a Cup race? Let me see…

Not including Tim Steele, who probably would have won in the Cup Series if he hadn`t had his accident* in the late nineties, there is one driver who was in the field that day who has since won a Cup race. It`s David Ragan.


32. IT’S A TWISTER! (TC Mouras, Concepcion Del Uruguay, 2016)

Argentina has a massive motorsport fanbase, and has two series at the very top: a touring car series by the name of Super TC2000, or a stock car series called Turismo Carretera, which literally means ‘road racing’. Turismo Carretera has been going since 1937, and has not changed ownership since 1939, making it the oldest national racing series in the world.
There are many different Argentine motorsport ladders, and one of them is the following: Turismo Carretera, TC Pista, TC Mouras, and TC Pista Mouras. It’s a risky ladder to ascend. If drivers are certain that they want to run in Turismo Carretera, they use these three series to get there. First up is TC Pista Mouras, then it`s TC Mouras, and lastly TC Pista, then it`s off to Turismo Carretera if they`ve proven their worth. This is the risky ladder. Drivers only stay in one particular series for so long before funds dry and/or owners no longer find them a decent cause, but on the plus side, not only does it get them more used to the Turismo Carretera cars (since all three run similar, but slowed down, versions of what the Turismo Carretera runs), but it`s all but guaranteed that a champion will move up in the ranks, along with any other drivers owners found to be talented.

…But on Saturday, November 26, 2016, something…odd happened during one of TC Mouras` races, this one being at Concepcion Del Uruguay, which is actually still in Argentina (it isn`t far from the border, however). Forecast told that rain was coming, which later became a storm. However, no one expected what was going to happen.

Good move not racing in this
From Misionescuatro.com

A tornado struck when the field was behind the safety car! I`m not sure if this came during pace laps, or during a caution period for rain, but the devastation soon made itself known, as TV cameras picked up what was going on.

From lavozdelinterior.com.ar

Spectators ran for cover, crew members looked to tie objects down, and drivers bailed from their cars and found shelter. Thankfully, it appears that no severe injuries at the track were reported. The race was pushed off by only one day, from what I could gather. TC Mouras raced early the next day at the track to crown its champion.


31. Horrid Lorry (Truck Racing, Brands Hatch, 2011)

Doesn`t seem like people want to stop rolling.

During a tractor trailer race at Brands Hatch in October 2011, one of the last races of the year at Brands Hatch, a truck flipped on its side in Graham Hill Bend, warranting another safety car. Interestingly enough, this had actually been the second flip of this race, as someone had dug into the gravel trap at Paddock Hill and gone flipping earlier in the race.

Brands Hatch; Credit to ngroadracing


These beasts, as mentioned previously, are quite slow (mostly due to limitations), but with their focus on passing in the corners due to equal max speeds and rather bizarre center of gravity coupled with high weight, they are beyond fun to watch. When the big trucks crash, they can easily destroy a barrier, and the best move is to pit them on tracks where they will get stuck in the runoff instead of striking the wall.

Downhill Run
Credit to Kent Sport News

Oddly enough, a third truck flipped that race, but this one was a little different. While responding to the second turnover at Graham Hill Bend, a pickup truck serving as a fire vehicle went a little too quickly into Paddock Hill and looped. The truck, a Ford Ranger, backed itself into a spin and hooked over itself, sending the two men inside it for a ride unlike any other. Gear and equipment spilled onto the track as the truck flipped onto its lid, some of the firefighting equipment exploding on the track surface. Already on the scene, safety crews rushed over to the truck, which had eventually flipped back over on its own, and pulled the men from the cab, shaken but unharmed.

And over he goes
Credit to Ten Tenths

It`s odd to note that well over a dozen fans posted their angle of the fire lorry`s inversion, but few actually picked up what had happened to it, likely shutting off their devices to conserve power, assuming everything would be typical and boring. Not quite, guys…not quite.


30. Boys… (WTCC, Macau, 2013)

Ah, Macau. Yep, we`re back in Macau.

Now that the WTCC has control over Macau again, I wonder if they`ll be good again. Well, likely better, but until the Hungaroring is removed, it can never be `great`. At least not in my eyes. Whether you`re getting the race cancelled after one lap under green by flipping the car, yet still winning due to the results being taken from the last full lap`s running order, or launching twenty feet into the air and almost going over the catchfencing in an incident literally NO television camera caught*, Macau is intriguing to say the least. Well, let`s get to our next moment.

The second race at Macau in 2013 for the WTCC ended for Tom Chilton when his car blew up at Maternity and slowed to a crawl. Local driver Eurico de Jesus, one of many locals who had gone to owners looking for a ride and one of the few who had gotten one in the WTCC instead of the five or six touring car support races, plowed into the back for him. This was an extremely questionable move, but in the end, it was forgiveable due to the blind corner. Franz Engstler and Yvan Muller stopped their cars, as they were stuck on the outside, but several drivers really couldn`t be bothered to slow down for whatever reason. Macau`s Felipe De Souza, Hong Kong`s Charles Ng, and Macau`s Henry Ho all piled in, ignoring the safety car boards and warranting a red flag, the second of the race…which was promptly ignored.


Yukinori Takaguchi decided to zoom up the hill as the flagmen put down their yellow flags and picked up their red flags, and slammed on the brakes when he reached the accident scene. Thankfully, Takaguchi did not hit anyone. Hong Konger Michael Soong and Macanese one off Jo Merszei did not slow whatsoever and both piled in, Merszei striking Takaguchi`s car several seconds after the red flag had been displayed. It appears that the two were dicing for position and simply decided they wanted to race each other up the hillside instead of slowing for the red flag. Chilton`s Chevrolet, Takaguchi`s Chevrolet, De Jesus` Honda, Soong`s Seat, Ng`s BMW, and Merszei`s BMW were too badly damaged to continue. The race continued after the second red flag, and Robert Huff ended up on the top step of the podium.


29. Steeplechase (NZV8, Pukekohe, 2007)

Speaking of Chase, anyone here remember the show on PBS…what was its name…Cyberchase? That show was amazing!…Oh right, the moment, sorry. Ahem.

NZV8, now New Zealand Touring Car Championship, is basically the Kiwis` answer to Supercars. Not much more to be said, actually. The series briefly split in two, NZV8 and V8 SuperTourers, but both split series started having issues, and they came back together for 2015 to 2016 (the series takes place across the Australian summer) as New Zealand Touring Car Championship. Drivers can choose between four manufacturers, the usual, Holden, Ford, and Nissan, but also have one that isn`t used in Aussie Supercars, Toyota. It is supported by a V8 Ute series (ironically enough, the Aussie V8 Utes have been retired, replaced by a new series called SuperUtes, based off diesel dual cabs, that will start in July), along with another Ute series called the Ssangyong Actyon Utes, which are lighter and somewhat smaller, but about as exciting as the regular guys.

In 2007, they made their usual trip to Pukekohe. Pukekohe in these days was extremely decrepit, with simple steel guardrails that often weren`t well bolted down. A V8 Supercar famously took out a pole on which a PA transmitter was situated in 2005, warranting a red flag. In 2008, a pileup during the NZV8 race saw one car break one of the gates and four cars get on top of the guardrail, which folded, allowing two of them to go over the wall.

But Jarod Carlisle showed just how ridiculous this track once was. He got turned around on the back chute in 2007 and took a wild ride over a horse jump.

This won`t be good...

Pukekohe`s also a horse facility, and is used for both standard races and steeplechase. However, for one reason or another, officials simply didn`t feel like taking down the horse jumps after a steeplechase competition, and in these days there wasn`t a guardrail to the inside of this part of the back chute. In fact, this wasn`t the first time the jumps hadn`t been taken down, but it was the first time I`m aware of that a driver vaulted one. The red flag was flown for this.

After 2008, Pukekohe dropped off the V8 schedule, but returned in 2013 as a new and improved facility with proper tire walls, runoff, barriers where needed, and a new chicane at the end of the back chute. It`s stayed on ever since.


28. Did I Do That? (Formula Palmer Audi, Snetterton, 2003)

Yep, you did that, all right.

Formula Palmer Audi…not much more to say, really. It was a good open wheel league that mostly ran in Britain and also had one of the best league names I`ve ever heard. PALMER AUDI…that sounds awesome, doesn`t it?

All right, onto the moment. Glenn Kinnersley`s car stalled in the runoff at Snetterton in 2003 and the safety car was warranted. Glenn stayed in the car, ready to see if it would restart once he got a tow back onto the circuit. The open wheeler, however, would be junk in a few seconds.


Officials ran over and alerted Glenn that he would not be allowed to continue on in the race. Glenn, disappointed, remained in the car, perhaps intending to wait for the car`s trailer to be driven over to the access point where he`d be towed to so they could ship it off for repairs, as there was little point in remaining at the facility.

The tow truck driver headed straight, Glenn`s car following it on a tow line, but a few seconds into the ride, the, the open wheeler went sideways. The tow truck driver, apparently not noticing, did not turn his vehicle to compensate, and allowed the open wheeler to shoot out completely sideways. It snagged a rut, but the tow driver, still not noticing, kept going. At this point the officials, who had been focusing on keeping the truck off the racing surface rather than watching where Glenn was headed, radioed him to stop, which he did, but Glenn`s car was wrecked.

Credit to UkF1.net

After snagging the rut, the truck had actually pulled the car with so much force that, not having many places to go, Glenn`s vehicle was pulled onto its top. Aaaaand that`s a red flag. Thanks, guys.


27. lasreveR eloR (GP2, Monza, 2016)

Sergio, Sergio, Sergio…

Sergio Canamasas, everyone! Sergio Canamasas, if you don`t know, is a native of Spain who races in GP2. He’s very fast, but he’s also very aggressive, and is prone to idiotic mistakes. He’s caused a lot of dumb incidents and has been penalized on several occasions. However, when the stars align and he finishes a race, he usually runs very well, which is why he’s still around.

Arthur Pic, brother to Charles Pic, was racing with Sergio at the 2016 GP2 round at Monza when he forced the issue into Lesmo 1 and Sergio ran off a bit. Sergio, not willing to back off, stayed alongside Pic, and into Lesmo 2, Pic forced Sergio towards the runoff again. Sergio wasn`t about to go off into the sand, and kept his line at the track`s absolute outside. Arthur had dived so far in, however, that it was clear that he hadn`t even considered the chance that Sergio would keep his line, which he had every right to do. Keeping your line when you`re being driven towards the track`s outside is dumb, but you have every right to hold your line if you`re being driven towards the runoff. Arthur didn`t consider this, and the two collided, sending Sergio Canamasas over in Lesmo 2. Both drivers were unhurt.

This is new...

…I know I just dedicated this segment to making fun of Sergio Canamasas, but really, think about it. Something is bizarre if it`s unlikely to reoccur anytime too soon. Sergio probably won`t be getting into any accidents that he was 100% blameless in anytime too soon.



Worst: The 1996 Monaco Grand Prix had three finishers.

Champ Car: CART was renamed Champ Car in 2004.

Fiasco: Due to some infighting between organizers and promoters, the 1997 Indy 500 had 35 starters instead of the classic 33.

Late: Dan Shaver died of cancer in 2007.

Accident: Just when he was about to move up to the Cup Series in 1998, Tim Steele was involved in a testing crash at Atlanta. He was never the same again.

Caught: I pretty much just described exactly what happened to Kevin Magnussen in 2011. He was uninjured.