Worst Wrecks in NASCAR
Running at 150 mph should generate much risk, and all race car drivers know that. Running at such speed, even a small protrusion on the road could spell fatality in clear words. Also, even a slight contact from other cars, one mistake made from a single driver, a single car floundering ahead of the others, these all instances create accidents dragging all others competitors with it. And cars need not be clumped together.
Many have been surprised at the loads of gruesome accidents over NASCAR, despite arguments that it is the most laidback of all motor sports, being confined on oval speedways. Yet they happen, Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin, Tony Roper, and the NASCAR hero Dale Earnhardt have claimed the worst wrecks in NASCAR. Here’s a recount of the past.
The first of the major NASCAR mishaps was Adam Petty on May 12, 2000, when his throttle stuck and took away his control of the car running at over 100 mph. After two months, Kenny Irwin met with a death dealing accident. That was on July 7, 2000 and NASCAR began to mandate the use of kill switch on the steering wheel. The next accident was met by Tony Roper on October 13, 2000 during the Craftsman Truck Series.
Dale Earnhardt’s accident, when it happened, didn’t cause an immediate uproar. After all, Earnhardt did survive some of worst wrecks in NASCAR races, particularly his famous wreck survival at Tallageda on 1996. Dale Earnhardt’s car didn’t even flip or somersault, the only extreme event was when the #36 Pontiac driven by Ken Shrader rammed #3 Chevrolet Corvette’s passenger door which made Earnhardt’s car ram the track wall in crushing speed.
The public outcry was expansive; in fact such event wasn’t emulated since Sherlock Holmes died. And like the hero from Scotland Yard, Dale Earnhardt’s death triggered numerous changes within and outside of NASCAR. The shock of losing the race legend after several strings of race injury related deaths had prompted the NASCAR governing body to implement several safety measures (aside from the kill switch) and the seatbelt company that Dale consequently used was brought out of commission.
Now that change has been exceptionally maintained, there will be such time when NASCAR could veer away from race accidents with higher percentage. Come the car of tomorrow, will it be successful in steering race drivers away from the worst wrecks of NASCAR?