Now that I’m home and all the craziness of Speed Week and last weekend’s NASCAR races are over, I finally have a chance to post some of the images from Saturday’s spectacular crash. Superspeedways, such as Daytona and Talladega, host some of the worst crashes in the sport. Just a few short years ago, Carl Edwards slammed into the fence on another last-lap crash at Talladega. Saturday’s Nationwide race was no exception in the crash department.
The race was unfolding to be pretty uneventful, but things started heating up during the last few laps. After a massive 13-car pile up near turn two with five laps remaining, this ridiculous, car-shredding accident on the last lap sent 14 people to the hospital and shock waves through the entire racing community. It was absolutely surreal to watch this unfold through my lens, knowing that many people would probably be injured.
I photographed most of the race (100 of 120 laps) from turn four and then made my way down to pit road to shoot the last few laps and Victory Lane. The race would enter a green-white-checkered finish, meaning there would only be three laps remaining once the cleanup was complete. I’ve now had the chance to watch the crash video many, many times (and even from a fan’s perspective), and it absolutely amazes me that more people were not injured.
In the photo room on Sunday, I looked at photo sequences from several photographers, and contrary to what many people believe, the wheel that landed in the stands went through the fence instead of over it. Kyle Larson’s car impacted the fence where the gate is that allows access to the track. The gate burst open and sheared off the entire engine and one of the wheels — this would not have been possible had the car hit the fence in any other location. The whole thing reminded me of the scene from Final Destination 4.
Below are a selection of shots from the sequence and aftermath.