Bad wrecks are part of NASCAR life

I have been following racing since I was aged 3, and I've seen some pretty horrific crashes over the years. It seems the ones that look the worst are the ones from which the driver usually walks away.

I'm not sure how many times someone has barrel rolled or has gone airborne at Daytona and Talladega, but it's a lot.

Wrecks by Tony Stewart, Ricky Rudd, Randy LaJoie, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt and Ryan Newman come to mind first at those tracks, although there were many more.

Richard Petty took a large section of fencing down in the 1988 Daytona 500. I was there and remember it well. It took several hours for the fence to be repaired.

Thankfully, Richard walked away.

This year at Talladega, Carl Edwards went airborne after trying to block Brad Keselowski on the last lap of the race for the win. Edwards went sailing into the homestretch fence, sending a lot of debris into the grandstands and injuring seven people.

For me, personally, I think the worst wreck I have ever seen was in the truck series race at Daytona in 2000.

I was not at the track but in a sports bar in Daytona having lunch with friends and watching the race on TV. All of a sudden, Geoff Bodine's truck went airborne and took out a section of the fencing. The truck came down nose first onto the racetrack and started to violently flip in the air while being hit by many other trucks all at once. When all was said and done, the truck was completely destroyed.

I remember the frightening gasps from people watching in the bar, followed by total silence. We all thought he was dead. Luckily, he's still around today to talk about it.

I was at the February 2001 Daytona 500 when Dale Earnhardt was killed on the last lap of the race. The wreck was bad but, up until that time, I had seen much worse.

I'll never forget the eerie feeling of walking out of a race track with 200,000 other people. It was almost silent. We didn't find out until a few hours later that Dale had died.

Those are just a few bad wrecks that stand out for me.

If you would like to view a video, do a search for "worst Nascar crashes" and you'll find an eight-minute video posted on YouTube. If you're into bad wrecks, you won't be disappointed.


nStafford Motor Speedway: SK Lights; David Webb of New Milford won for the first time this season. Fred Nees Jr. (11), Lauren Cooper (14). SK Modifieds, Kurt Lenahan (11), Doug Coby (24).

nAccord Speedway: Billy Deak Jr. (4), Billy Deak (5).

nWhip City Speedway: Peter Dance (2).

nLebanon Valley: Kyle Armstrong (7).

nThe Sprint Cup guys are at Michigan Sunday.