The 2012 Daytona 500 was one of the more interesting races for the Sprint Cup Series championship. Rain delays, postponements and crashes detracted from Matthew Kenseth big win, but Juan Pablo Montoya's fiery crash stole the show.
Montoya was running 30th on lap 160. However, he lost control of his No. 42 Chevrolet. The car crashed into the back end of a jet dryer on the outside of the track. The jet dryer contained about 200 gallons of kerosene and burst in flames, as a fireball consumed Montoya's vehicle, reported The Sun.
I've hit a lot of things -- but a jet dryer? said Montoya, according to the Associated Press. It just felt really strange, and as I was talking on the radio, the car just turned right.
Montoya said his helmet was engulfed in flames and fire fighters quickly responded. Montoya's fellow drivers exited for about 10 minutes under the red flag, reported the AP, as NASCAR officials examined the wreck and the damage.
About the time you think you've seen about everything, you see something like this, NASCAR president Mike Helton said, according to the Associated Press
NASCAR had used a jet engine to dry the tracks since Daytona International Speedway had endured heavy rainfall for two full days.
Montoya and the driver of the truck both walked away unscathed from the dramatic wreck.
I didn't think about the truck. I thought I'm going to be hitting the jet and it's not going to be fun, he said, according to The Washington Post. Before I got there, I thought, 'This thing is going to be on fire pretty bad' -- and it was. When you're in the car, every time you hit like that it's a big bang and you hit and they [his pit crew] were trying to ask me if I was okay, but I was getting out. I saw the flames and my helmet got a little burned and everything, but ... move on.