It would seem Gaia herself did not want the 54th running of the Daytona 500 to take place. After being delayed more than 24 hours by water falling from the sky in the form of rain, fire threatened to end the race early with just 40 laps to go when Juan Pablo Montoya slammed his car into a jet dryer truck under caution. Watch the video of the incident after the jump.

The jet dry truck, which is basically a heavy duty pickup with a helicopter jet engine attached, burst into flames on impact, spilling hundreds of gallons of burning jet fuel and diesel onto the raceway. Fortunately, both Montoya and the driver of the jet dryer truck were not seriously hurt, but the burning fuel threatened to end the Daytona 500 after 160 laps.

Twitter had a field day with the incident. The account @NASCARJetDryer tweeted "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated..., #imaight!" Brad Keselowski tweeted his view of the fire from behind the wheel of his No. 2 Miller Light Dodge Charger on an iPhone, which he actually had with him in the car. Fortunately the entire field was parked under a red flag at the time. Our favorite tweet came from @SpeedSportLife, which commented on the direction Montoya took to hit the jet dryer truck: "See what happens NASCAR drivers turn right???"
If the race had been called at that point, driver Dave Blaney would have been crowned champion because the race leaders had just pitted. Incredibly, it would have been Blaney's first victory in 15 seasons of Sprint Cup racing.



But it was not to be for Blaney. After an hours-long delay under red flag while the track was repaired and cleaned, racing finally resumed about ten minutes after midnight on Tuesday morning. After the cars had driven over the repaired section of track a few times under caution and it was clear the green flag would drop, Blaney immediately made a scheduled pit for fuel and repairs and gave up the lead to Matt Kenseth. Despite two big wrecks that led to yellow cautions and a last-turn lunge by Dale Earnhardt Jr. that was defended by teammate Greg Biffle, Kenseth never relinquished the lead and crossed the finish line first to win his second Daytona 500.

A burning jet dry truck on Turn 3 wasn't the only turn of bad luck that befell the Daytona 500 after the green flag eventually dropped. The first big wreck happened after just one lap when Jimmie Johnson's car was bumped by Eliot Sadler and caused a chain reaction wreck. The early accident took out defending Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne, David Ragan and Kurt Busch. Danica Patrick was also involved, her car requiring a lengthy pit stop and extensive repairs before returning to the track well out of contention. Bayne also later returned.



The debut of electronic fuel injection in Sprint Cup racing appears to be one of the night's few successes. Only Jeff Gordon suffered a blown engine, and the new-for-NASCAR fuel delivery system seemed to otherwise operate under the radar with just a few cars reporting problems with fuel pressure.

New for this year's Daytona 500 was a much larger bonus for leading the race at the 100-lap halfway point. Terry Lebonte looked like he was going to hold on to the lead heading into 100, but he spun out at the worst time, which set up Martin Truex Jr. to pass Greg Biffle on the last turn. Truex Jr. will be paid a hefty $200,000 for being at the right at the right time during the race.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 63 Comments
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      Has a car ever crashed into a jet engine before?
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        Nope. This is the first time. There was an incident that involved an ARCA race car and the ARCA pace car more than 10 years ago.
      pwr2lbs
      • 2 Years Ago
      How many NASCAR drivers does it take to start a fire? Just Juan!
        Carphanatik
        • 2 Years Ago
        @pwr2lbs
        That literally made me laugh out loud. Oh, by the way, guess who's been sober for about a week? Whitney Houston!
      ferps
      • 2 Years Ago
      typical Jean Girard
      RGT881
      • 2 Years Ago
      That was the weirdest thing with JPM taking out the jet-drier. I don't think there was a single person who wasn't asking themselves how did 42 manage to get so much damage during a caution?! Congrats to Kenseth. Funny watching Brad K. twitting on his iPhone.
        JR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RGT881
        Watching a twit "twitting".
      Elmo
      • 2 Years Ago
      1. They don't race the Challenger in the Sprint Cup. It's the Charger. 2. Brad doesn't race the #22 in the Sprint Cup. He races the iconic #2 Miller Lite Dodge.
      thePeterN
      • 2 Years Ago
      Most bizarre race ever. I christen thee "Delaytona 500".
      hvelasquez01
      • 2 Years Ago
      Reminds me of this scene from Days of Thunder... Harry Hogge: All right. While we're still under a caution, I want you to go back out on that track and hit the pace car. Cole Trickle: Hit the pace car? Harry Hogge: Hit the pace car. Cole Trickle: What for? Harry Hogge: Because you've hit every other goddamned thing out there, I want you to be perfect.
      threefortyduster
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Brad Keselowski tweeted his view of the fire from behind the wheel of his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger on an iPhone, which he actually had with him in the car. " Seriously? Try the Number 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger. Dodge doesn't run the Challenger in Sprint Cup. Come on, you guys have got to do better than that.
      dcbuckeye
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a waste of resources...to drive in circles.
      Andres Munar
      • 2 Years Ago
      Obviously not Montoya's fault. Just glad everyone's OK.
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andres Munar
        It wasn't. It's just that something in his car broke.
          benderillo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          You were downvoted because you are annoying.
          DonMega
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          I think it's best for all of us if you just stopped commenting on this site. No one cares about anything you have to say, and you are ultra-annoying as benderillo mentioned..
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          [blocked]
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Benderillo and DonMega... The person you're annoyed with is the impostor known as Lorenzo. Who has been commenting throughout this whole day (even though I was working and hadn't touched my computer since my initial question as to why I was downvoted. Both of you are gigantic morons for not staying up to date with what's happening with my impostor. The one below insulting you is that impostor.
          lorenzo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Both of you are gigantic morons. Unless you've been living under a rock the past 3 years I've been commenting on AB, you should know who I am. Because I work, and apparently my imposter doesn't.
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          AND now Lorenzo has been uncovered as being the impostor Elmo by forgetting to sign out of his account.
        Nowuries
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andres Munar
        Sure... and all the wrecks JPM causes in Grand Am aren't his fault either. There was no need for him to be speeding at that point anyway...
          Andres Munar
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nowuries
          He was catching up to the back of the pack on the yellow, drivers who are given the wave around generally have go pretty fast to catch up with the pack within a single lap. As for Grand Am, I haven't seen any of those races so I can't judge.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      I cannot comprehend how FOX didn't manage to get video of that. They have how many cameras there? If a driver goes into the bathroom before the race they have a camera on it. But they miss a collision on the track? Bizarre. I tried to watch. Still couldn't manage to enjoy it. But good on those who like it.
        pillowhead
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        The race was under caution and the broadcast was on a commercial break. I'm sure the camera guys and everyone else behind the scenes were taking a short break just as they have done during other commercials during cautions
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @pillowhead
          I went to a talk several years ago with the guys from SportVision (inventors of the Fox puck, virtual 1st down line, etc.) and they talked about their new car racing direction. They said that the Tv people show up at the track a week early and set up cameras during practice and such to catch all the wrecks. He explained how they were working on a robotic camera which would train on a car which exceeded a certain slip angle because those tend to lead to wrecks. So I assure you the people doing this coverage are very serious about catching ALL the action. I cannot understand how this missed this. Pure idiocy. All the money they spent covering the race and they blow this.
        Timbo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        I think the worst part of the broadcast was what they KNEW was coming. Right at the end of the Star Spangled Banner you could hear the jets coming in over head but they show singing instead of a formation of jets flying overhead.. very disappointing. They caught them after they flew over so you could see their exhaust. Dam shame.
      Stevan Cartwright
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow author you aren't that smart are you? Maybe you should check your facts before you make yourself look like a fool. keselowski drives the #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger and the car you described is in the Nationwide series.. Maybe if you don't know about the subject you shouldn't report on it like a moron.. Anyways I waited all through that to see a Roush car win. It is so boring when they win.. smoke was my man and after he didn't have a chance I was pulling for Jr. It's too bad.
        Darren McLellan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Stevan Cartwright
        We really don't care THAT much. Entertaining yes. Interesting maybe Important enuff to get in a huff abut who drives what car, as they are all the same, NOT.
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