From ‘spingate’ at Richmond in September to the severe penalties handed to the Penske Racing teams back in April in Texas and everything in between, it seemed like there was never a dull moment in the 2013 NASCAR season. While a lot of things happened during the year, there were three unusual incidents that stand out in my mind.
Daytona International Speedway – February 23, 2013:
Flying debris as well as a tire ended up in the front stretch grandstand at the Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300. Approximately 28 fans were injured when a 12 car pile-up ensued at the end of the race. Track workers repaired the catch fence overnight in preparation for the upcoming Daytona 500. This spurred both NASCAR and track officials to look into improving safety along the front stretch, including crossover gates, before the race at Talladega Superspeedway in May.
Charlotte Motor Speedway – May 26, 2013:
Several cars were damaged and multiple fans were injured when a nylon rope from a FOX sky cam fell on the track and in to the grandstands at the Coca-Cola 600. Race teams are normally not allowed to make any adjustments to their cars during red flags, however, when the cable fell, it damaged the cars. The race was stopped and NASCAR ruled that they were able to repair damages caused under red. The cable cam was indefinitely suspended from future events and an investigation began.
Homestead-Miami Speedway – November 17, 2013 :
Paul Menard’s right rear tire exploded after the car sustained rear damage from a hit in the Ford EcoBoost 400. Thankfully no one was injured but the car was totaled, which ended the race for the 27 team.
What will happen next? I don’t know. It seems like there is always something interesting happening in every sport. The 2014 season is just around the corner. We’ll have to wait and see!