Sprint cars always remind us of what a middle schooler would come up with when designing a race car: “Put spoilers on spoilers, and they’re only allowed to drive sideways!” This insanity leads to truly spectacular dirt track action, and occasionally, an extreme crash.
Back in February 2017, driver Joey Saldana was involved in one such crash during an All Star Circuit of Champions race at Volusia Speedway Park. As you can see from the above footage, Saldana is in a tight battle for first place, when he touches tires with the car on the inside and is sent flying into the air. He clears the catch fence and flips end over end towards the spectators, somehow hitting none of them.
With Saldana walking away from the crash, a potentially fatal situation turned into a wild racing moment.
In an interview following the terrifying wreck, Saldana expressed just how thankful he was that his incident didn’t turn out nearly as bad as it could have.
“You never anticipate a bad outcome, but it can happen instantly,” Saldana told Speed Sport. “They were really lucky last night. Fans think it’s safe for us to race when they sit there. If I’d kill someone, I don’t know if I could have lived with that. When I got out of that car, I thought I’d killed somebody for sure.”
“Safety equipment has come a long way, plus I work out a lot. That paid off last night. My neck doesn’t even hurt today. The car didn’t come out of it as well. They can fix it, but it has to go back to the manufacturer for some fabrication work.”
Can you imagine going through a wreck like this, and then continuing to race? This is why sprint car drivers are so badass!
This post was originally published on February 17, 2017.