A NASCAR driver is lucky to be alive after his car was involved in a crash that sent it spinning into a full mid-air flip.
They say it’s not a NASCAR race if there isn’t at least one spectacular crash. Most NASCAR drivers prefer to keep their vehicles on the ground and in fact a lot of engineering man hours have been dedicated to ensuring just that. However, physics often has something to say when you get a car going 200 mph around a curved race track.
One extremely noteworthy wreck happened during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday afternoon. The race was initially scheduled for Sunday but was delayed due to rain and a general lack of lighting for the track. Things seemed to have dried up by Monday, but that didn’t stop a spectacular crash from happening on lap 180 of 188.
As is so often the case in NASCAR, there's a bit of a domino-effect leading up to one car going airborne. First, Number 18 in the blue car gets tipped by the Number 1 driver, which then slams into Number 2 who was trailing out hero, Brendan Gaughan in Number 62. This causes Number 2 to nudge 62 so that he starts to go sideways, which in turn causes 62 to get t-boned by Number 1.
This sends Gaughan in 62 into a full launch airborne with perfect momentum to perform a 360-degree flip, landing daintily on all four tires.
Afterward, Gaughan slides off the track completely out of control, but the good news is that he was miraculously completely uninjured by the whole ordeal. In fact, he seemed quite pleased with himself in an interview just outside the medical bivouac.
"I stuck the landing. Russian judge docked me a little bit," joked Gaughan. "Mother it's OK, it's just a flip. It didn't hurt, I promise."
Gaughan promised to appear in the Daytona 500 later in February and once again apologized to his mother, who is likely none too happy about her son’s career choice.