Monday, February 27, 2012

Montoya sets Daytona on fire

Evident from Lap 1, Earnhardt-Ganassi teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray had a plan for the 54th running of the Great America Race. McMurray who started in the 19th position would drop to the rear of the field and pair up with Montoya who qualified 35th. Avoiding the early crashes and slowly making their way through the field, the two had made it into the top-10 when the seventh caution of the night came out for David Stremme’s expired engine.

Upon exiting pit road Montoya complained of a vibration when he accelerated and returned to his pit box for further examination. The team was unable to find anything wrong and sent the No. 42 on it’s way. That’s when all hell broke loose and one of the most terrifying incidents we’ve seen in NASCAR history occurred.

As the car went down the backstretch it took a hard right and swerved directly into the rear of the jet dryer being used to removed debris from the racing surface. The truck, packed with nearly 200 gallons of jet fuel, erupted in a ball of flames while Montoya’s crushed Target Chevrolet ended up in the infield, Although both Montoya and the driver of the safety truck were able to exit their vehicles, the flames were intense as crews fought the fire in hopes of saving the racing surface.  

Montoya was treated and released from the infield care center while the driver of the jet dryer was taken to Halifax Medical Center for further evaluation.

The race is currently under a red flag as crews continue to work on the track surface. There are 40 laps left until the checkered flag.

Stay tuned to Skirts and Scuffs for further updates.

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