You've heard it all before. "People watch car racing for the crashes," has been a familiar refrain for what seems like forever. While that stereotype surely applies to a portion of the viewers who tune in, most fans watch motorsports because they like motorsports. (How novel, we know.) That said, there's no denying that some crashes are hard not to watch, regardless of your level of interest in racing.
One these occurrences took place yesterday at the Texas Motor Speedway during qualifying for tomorrow's Samsung 500 Sprint Cup race. Michael McDowell was piloting his #00 Aaron's Toyota Camry when the rear end got loose coming out of a turn. Things then got very bad, very quickly, and McDowell went into the wall at around 180 miles per hour. The engine bay burst into flames and the car went into a slide on its roof that led to several barrel rolls before it finally came to rest. Track officials helped McDowell out of the burning car and with a wave to the fans, he walked away.
It's got a silly name, it's not much to look at, and it further homogenizes the field, but the NASCAR Car of Tomorrow seems able to take some very serious punishment while keeping its driver safe. Ultimately, that trumps everything else. We're glad to see that McDowell's okay. Bummer about your car, though, dude.
Thanks to Taylor for the tip.
[Sources: NASCAR, YouTube]