Pocono Raceway’s long, twisted history of tearing up race cars
Pocono Raceway has long been known as the Tricky Triangle for good reason. It's been the site of some of the most spectacular, frightening wrecks in NASCAR history.
Here are the stories behind many of them:
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Richard Petty, 1980
Petty’s 1980 crash at Pocono is among the sport’s worst of all time. Petty lost a right-front wheel and slammed into the outside wall. He then idled across the middle of the track, facing traffic as other crashing cars tried desperately to avoid him.
Darrell Waltrip was unable to do so -- and his sliding car slammed into Petty's door. The accident resulted in a neck injury for Petty, but he continued to race in the coming weeks.
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Bobby Allison, 1988
Allison's horrifying wreck at Pocono ended his Hall of Fame career. At the very beginning of the race, Allison felt a tire problem and radioed his crew to prepare for a pit stop at the end of the first lap -- but the tire Allison exploded, sending Allison's Buick into a spin and into the second-turn wall. Cars began to move to avoid hitting him, but Chauncey T. Maggiacomo could not see because of the smoke and his car T-boned Allison's car.
Both drivers were knocked unconscious. Maggiacomo awoke quickly and was treated at the infield medical center for a cut chin and hand and was released. It took medical and safety crews more than a half hour to extricate Allison from his destroyed car, and they needed to use the Hurst "Jaws of Life" tool to do so.
He was left with partial amnesia as a result of the accident that also left him with a steel rod in his left leg. During his subsequent six-week stay in the hospital, he also had to have surgery to reduce swelling on his brain.
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Davey Allison, 1992
Amazingly, Davey Allison walked away unscathed after the 1992 wreck that left his No. 28 Robert Yates Racing Ford a shell of its former self.
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Worth a closer look
Another, closer look at the violent Davey Allison wreck in 1992.
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Steve Park and Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2002
Park (left) and Earnhardt Jr. share a laugh earlier in the 2002 season. A few months later, they were involved in their terrifying accident at the Triangle.
After initial contact with Rusty Wallace, Park and Junior -- then teammates at Dale Earnhardt Inc. -- made contact with each other and flew across the grass. Park ended up with his car embedded in the guardrail that still served as the barrier at the track after he flipped over it. Earnhardt Jr. sprinted across the grass to check on Park’s condition, but both escaped major injury.
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Ken Schrader, 2003
Schrader lost his brakes in a 2003 race and soon found himself taking a terrifying ride over which he had absolutely no control.
Schrader, 2003, Take 2
Another look at Schrader's car as it bursts into flames.
Jeff Gordon, 2006
Despite winning six times at Pocono, Gordon said in an interview with FOX Sports that what he remembers most about racing at the 2.5-mile track is a terrifying crash he had in 2006 when the brakes on his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet failed in Turn 1 at about 200 miles per hour.
In the incident, Gordon’s car went around and he hit driver’s-side first, one of the most dangerous types of impacts.
Fortunately, Gordon walked away from the harrowing crash, but it was definitely a hair-raising moment. "You never forget moments like that." he said.
Sadler amazingly walked away from his crash with only a sore right shoulder and collarbone, and minor scrapes from the seat belts in his mangled car. He said NASCAR later told him the G-forces he experienced were the highest recorded in NASCAR history at the time.
Sadler, in fact, hit the interior wall so hard that the engine block popped out of his No. 19 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford.
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Kasey Kahne, 2010
Kahne was going for position on then-Richard Petty Motorsports teammate AJ Allmendinger on the final lap of a race in June of 2010 when Allmendinger moved very low on the backstretch. Since it was the final lap, Kahne didn't let off the gas and when he got in the grass, he lost control of his No. 9 RPM Ford.
"I don't know what AJ was doing there," Kahne told reporters afterward. "I don't ever really talk to him much, but you can bet I will be talking to him this week."