NASCAR is either the world’s dullest motorsport or its most exciting; often both in the same race, and at yesterday’s Daytona 500 the action was lit up by two huge multi-car wrecks – let’s be honest, the exact things that at least half the audience were hoping for.
On lap 14, as the pack was still running nose to tail in three closely packed lines, a little rubbing sent the number 10 car of Aric Almirola into the number 48 Chevrolet driven by Alex Bowman. The fallout saw upwards of 20 cars damaged.
Then, on the final lap, Team Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski collided. Logano blocked as the faster Keselowski went for a move up the inside, with the impact spinning both cars off the circuit and leaving the hard-charging number 34 of Michael McDowell to take the flag by fractions of a section.
The resulting crashes were even more dramatic this time, the floodlit darkness punctuated by explosions as cars hit other cars, hit the outer wall and caught alight. Cars with huge crash damage desperately tried to limp on to the finish line while others slid off the banked corner, splintered bodywork sparking in the smoky gloom. After some cursory checks, McDowell was confirmed the winner and most of the other teams were left to quite literally pick up the pieces.