It wasn’t to the level of Juan Pablo Montoya running into a jet dryer and igniting an inferno, but Michael McDowell struck a safety truck during Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Richmond International Raceway.
McDowell was circling under caution on Lap 288 when he ran into the rear of the truck positioned at the entrance of Turn 3 near the top of the track. While McDowell swerved left to avoid a head-on collision, the back end of his No. 95 car swiped the rear of the truck.
None of the six safety workers were injured, as NASCAR mandated they visit the infield medical center to get checked out. McDowell radioed to his team that he never saw the vehicle.
“I’m just really glad nobody got hurt when they were getting out,” he said.
McDowell’s car suffered significant rear-end damage and he immediately drove to the garage. He would not return to the Federated Auto Parts 400.
The accident was similar to when Montoya collided with a jet dryer during the 2012 Daytona 500. A crash that triggered an explosion and necessitated a two-hour delay as workers cleaned up the mess.