Photo: Colombian Driver Juan Pablo Montoya Crashes into Jet Dryer at Daytona 500
With just about 40 laps remaining, a caution allowed the lead-lap cars to made a pit stop. Montoya reportedly told his crew he was feeling a lot of vibration in his car, but after they checked it out, they found nothing and sent him back on the track.
Montoya says the vibration grew worse and he eventually lost control of his car and wound up slamming into a safety truck carrying a jet dryer used to dry the track after ran delayed the race for hours. Along with the jet dryer was about 200 gallons of kerosene.
As soon as his car slammed into the safety vehicle, the fuel caught fire and announcers and those watching were scrambling to figure out what happened.
“I wasn’t even going that fast,” Montoya told the Los Angeles Times. “It just felt really strange, and as I was talking in the radio, the car just took a right.”
Both Montoya and the driver of the truck were able to escape and were medically cleared. The Colombian driver said he was a bit sore but was looking ahead to the next race, adding that “TV makes it look worse.”
He was even joking about it a bit with reporters, saying, ““I mean, I’ve hit a lot of things, but a jet dryer?”
It was determined that the crash was caused a rear suspension mechanical malfunction.