Each crash from the most destructive Talladega Nascar race yet
Talladega is one of those incredible race meetings that always manages to put on an incredible spectacle, and 'incredible' is certainly a justified term to lean on when discussing this morning's latest Nascar race.
Penske's Brad Keslowski took today's Geico 500 win, holding off a barrage of challenges from the likes of Trevor Bayne, Austin Dillon, and the Busch brothers. But it was the crashes that will probably be the most memorable features of today's smashfest — 33 cars out of the 40 competing involved in at least once crash over the course of the race. Let's watch.
The first big one was Chris Buescher's wild ride on the back straight; a result of a field of race cars checking up for the spinning number 48 car of Jimmie Johnson.
Buescher's Ford Fusion gets sent into the most violent somersaults you'll see today, and was lucky to not be cleaned up by any of the passing cars.
While a roll looks vicious and painful, most drivers would probably take a barrel roll over solid contact with a wall, as the force through the car is spread to more locations, instead of being focused on the one small point.
Today was a day to forget for Dale Earnhardt Jr. A fairy-tale win in the wake of what would have been his late father's 65th birthday would've been due reward for someone who's been deserted by lady luck for most of 2016, but it wasn't to be. First came this curious crash, prompted by Earnhardt's car getting sucked sideways by the draft of the two drivers in front of him.
As they say in the Nascar industry, it was a 'hard lick'. But the team were able to get the Nationwide Chevrolet back out on track. Until it happened again ...
Fitting in many ways that Earnhardt's disastrous run was finally ended by someone else's failure — that someone else being recent winner Carl Edwards.
Edwards' car was equipped with running repairs following his supporting role in the Buescher roll-over — repairs that decided to suddenly give up the ghost through turn one, trapping the hapless Earnhardt between a Camry and a hard place.
The run to the flag at restrictor-plate races like Talladega is known for being the domain of the unmeasured risk. History shows that many a driver has crashed with the 'Dega chequered flag in sight, and a few more drivers added their names to that list today, including; Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse, and A.J Allmendinger.
If any crash on the list deserves the tag-line of 'the big one', then this is probably it due to its sheer scale.
21 cars in total were involved, after an unsuccessful piece of bump-drafting from Kurt Busch on the recovering Jimmie Johnson.
While this one is most likely to appear on your 6.00pm news screens, it wasn't quite the most spectacular one.
That title goes to this incredible bit of footage.
Some think Nascar is this simpleton sport of circles, but it's really quite technical, especially when it comes down to aerodynamics.
And when jostling saw Danica Patrick fire Matt Kenseth's Camry off the road, he gave us a perfect illustration of the fact — his car picked up like a feather and inverted onto its lid in mid-air, before careening into the inside wall upside down.
Note also the impact of Patrick when her Chevrolet makes contact with the inside wall. It's barely touched upon, but was probably the heaviest piece of contact made by any driver all day. Her ability to just leap out and march off is an incredible testament to how incredibly well engineered these machines are.