NASCAR: The 10 Worst Pit Road Accidents
Sometimes in the world of NASCAR pit road is more dangerous than being on the track with all of the other cars. Even some of the best drivers in NASCAR have had issues with pit road.
Earlier in 2016 Danica Patrick had an adventure while trying to make it onto pit road during a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Talladega. Although Patrick’s issue was not severe, it does show how easily and quickly things can go bad in the pits.
Neither of the cars was damaged to the point where they had to be removed from the race but they did both suffer damage.
Luckily for the cars in the video above, the result wasn’t what you’re going to see in the other videos in this article. Here is a look at some of the worst pit road wrecks in recent NASCAR history. Some involve multiple cars while others involve a single car and the pit road wall. The one thing that they have in common is that each wreck is bad.
Be sure to comment below and let us know which wreck you think was the worst.
Honorable Mention – Mason Mingus Goes Airborne
It’s not very often in any NASCAR series that you see a car (or truck) get all four tires off of the ground. On this particular afternoon, Mason Mingus managed to get some air after he came into pit road too hot.
Mingus not only destroyed his truck but he also did quite a number on the infield grass. Pit road at Chicagoland is one of the more difficult to get to but Mingus didn’t even come close to making it on this attempt.
Oh Mingus. (Boy Meets World reference, get it?)
No. 10 – Stewart Causes A Tire To Get Away
“Oh man, that guy is down right there.”
A trend that you will see throughout this countdown is that it’s no walk in the park being on a pit crew in NASCAR. Not only are these guys trying to change four tires and put in two cans of gas in less than 13 seconds, but they also have to make sure that things like the above video do not happen to them.
The good news here was that everyone was okay after the contact and in case you missed it, that guy was indeed down right there.
No. 9 – Matt Kenseth Climbs The Barrier
Here is the thing when it comes to NASCAR drivers; if it’s possible to hit it, there will come a point in which someone is going to find a way to hit it. In the above video Matt Kenseth put that theory into motion when it came to a barrier that was just inside of the pit lane.
Despite the barrier doing it’s job and protecting Kenseth from hitting the wall, it still looks like a pretty hard hit. I think it would be fair to say that Kenseth might have been a bit sore the next morning. Then again, if the barrier wasn’t there one can only imagine how much harder that hit might have been.
No. 8 – Pit Road Explosion
The last thing you want during a NASCAR event is for their to be any sort of explosion on pit road. Back in 2013 things got a bit heated on the No. 27 machine of Paul Menard and the result was a tire explosion that caught his crew by surprise.
The crew knew it was going to be an issue as he hit pit road since the car was already on fire. That fire only grew when it caused on of the tires to blow on the car.
One of the more interesting things here is how long it took NASCAR to throw the caution flag in this situation. The radio communication throughout all of this was also pretty entertaining. Given the unexpected nature of the tire blowing, it was fortunate that nobody was hurt on the No. 27 team.
No. 7 – Brad Keselowski Takes Out His Own
Sometimes a driver is the one responsible for taking out their own crew mates.
When the pit crew jumps over the wall they are anticipating that the driver is going to stop where they are supposed to stop. While that’s great in theory, every now and again that doesn’t happen. Sometimes a driver will miss their marks and overshoot their box, the result can be seen above with Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 team.
The scariest part of this isn’t even the guy that went onto the hood. In his case the tire took the brunt of the hit whereas the jack-carrier on the side of the car was flipped onto his back and had the jack fall on him.
All in all, it was a rough stop.
No. 6 – 2007 Kroger 200
The worst thing about these kind of incidents on pit road is that nobody ever sees them coming, nor do they expect them to happen.
Sure, you expect that at certain tracks cars might bump a bit on pit road. However, you don’t ever head into a track thinking that a crewman is going to be hit by a car. This situation was even scarier as the crewman didn’t bounce back up like some of the others did on this list.
What’s even crazier is that there was a time in NASCAR where safety equipment for crewman was optional. Can you imagine getting hit by a racecar and being launched into the air while not wearing a helmet? There was a time when that was actually a real possibility, thankfully this gentleman had himself a helmet.
No. 5 – Car Meets Water
Okay, so technically this didn’t happen on pit road but more like right next to the entrance of pit road. Regardless, it was still a sight to see and it was close enough to happening on pit road to make this list.
There is just something about a racecar cascading into water containers and making them explode that is hard to turn away from.
It’s fortunate that those barrels were in place and it might even be more fortunate that it was barrels and not tires like NASCAR had used on that part of the track previously. That portion of the track is a hard spot to wreck in and a dangerous one but the barrels did their job. Everyone walked away after the wreck and the track was just a little wetter than it should have been.
No. 4 – Ward Burton Takes Out A Few Good Men
It’s never a good situation when an ambulance needs to be called to the scene.
In this particular situation Ward Burton makes contact with Casey Atwood and the result was not good. Burton struck members of the No. 28 crew as well as a NASCAR official. Two crewman were injured in the accident and transferred to the infield medical care center.
Once again, the final result here was a positive one. While banged up, nobody was seriously injured in this accident. Both of the crewman would be released from the care center later on in the day.
Can you imagine what it must feel like as a driver to have that happen to you? Moreover, can you imagine what it must be like to actually get hit by a racecar?
No. 3 – Jeff Gordon Takes Out The No. 48 Team
You never want to be the guy that hits or clips the crew of another team. That situation only gets worse when it happens to a teammate and a team that you partially own. Needless to say it wasn’t a good moment for anyone when Jeff Gordon got turned and took out a chunk of the No. 48 pit crew.
As mentioned in the video, a bruised shin was the worse injury that took place.
It was also interesting to see Chad Knaus spring into action the way that he did as it was all happening. Kanus who was behind the wall, came out of nowhere when he hopped the wall to check on his teammate and the car all in one motion.
This is probably one of those moments where Rick Hendrick just shook his head.
No. 2 – Fire On The 62
This situation was scary, plain and simple.
There was a malfunction with equipment while the car was being fueled and the result was the fire. The fire engulfed the gas man who was obviously close to the incident. The fire also engulfed Anthony O’Brien who was the rear tire changer on the No. 62 machine. O’Brien was actually on fire for a few moments as he ran behind the pit wall before padded down.
The gas man and O’Brien were both burned during the incident. O’Brien was taken to a local medical facility where he was treated and then released.
This is a situation that could have been a lot worse than what it was. If there were ever a situation on pit road to make you appreciate the dangers these guys face, this just might be it.
No. 1 – Scary Hit For Mark Martin
Mark Martin is lucky that he was not seriously injured in this wreck.
Although the end result of this incident was not life-changing, it very easily could have been. NASCAR has never had a wreck quite like this one and they haven’t really had one like it since. The impact in which Martin hits the wall and the way in which the wall slices through the car is unbelievable.
It’s hard to watch it and not shudder at the thought of what might have happened if the hit took place on the door as opposed to just behind the door. Martin is lucky that he hit the wall in the spot that he did because had things gone differently he might not have been able to walk away from this wreck.
The shot towards the end of how the wall when through the frame is unbelievable.