Video: Mark Martin has lucky escape in freak pit lane crash

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    Mark Martin was extraordinarily lucky not to come off worse in this freak crash during the Michigan 400, which is still going on as I write this.

    Martin, who had started from pole position, spun into the pit lane in and his car was skewered by the exposed end of a barrier:

    Accidents like this serve to remind us that even the slightest lapse in safety standards could have dire consequences. Thankfully he wasn’t going much quicker when he hit it, and the barrier didn’t strike closer to his position in the car.


    Who has an exposed edge of a wall there? Crazy/


    Wow, a slightly different angle and it looked like he could have gone right through the gap :-s I would have thought there would have been a staggered wall like the Montreal hairpin (and probably most other tracks, I just remember that example specifically)


    Man, Mark has had some real freak accidents. Makes me wonder which was scarier, that one or this one from Talladega ’94…


    The mechanic and the cameraman were born again! Those exposed walls are in almost all NASCAR ovals, but you have to be very unlucky to hit them. Obviously it’s not impossible. A mini tyre barrier or a sand/water barrier like the one at the pit entrance would have helped, IMO.


    Man, that could have been very bad. Wasn’t aware the entrance was so large and so close to the front of the pit. I thought the garage entrance was normally farther down the pit straight and narrower. Michigan also has a pretty wide pit entrance. A freak accident for sure, and thankfully he slowed down quite a bit and no one got hurt.


    That kind of accidents remind me why I hate Nascar. Even he was at low speed he seemed like he couldn’t stop the car. If that was at a higher speed, I can’t imagine the consequences


    At first, when I was watching him slide towards the pit lane, I was thinking, ‘this doesn’t look THAT bad’. Then I saw the barrier pierce through the car and I was horrified. I don’t even want to think about what the consequences would’ve been if he’d have hit the barrier nearer the driver’s position.


    You know, half the problem for NASCAR is the attitude, I think the commentators are a fair indicator of that.

    We are all concerned about the barrier significantly piercing the car, but not them. (American accent time) Tha’lll all just care about the fire.

    Fer no.65

    Why oh why no one tries to get away from the wall with the car coming to them? those two camaramen didn’t move at all.


    Fer no.65 you have so little time to react and when your viewing things through the viewfinder you have a different perspective of things, everything looks further away than they are. I attended a Autocross and was shooting pictures when a autocrosser had a brainfade and turned bit early (just cones to mark track, the guy had already done 3 rounds around the track) and he drove so close by me I could touched his car. I was taking pictures the entire time and it was not until after he passed me that shock and adrenaline kicked over the recognition how close it was that I got hit and that was when I stepped back. Plus things happens so fast. Probably if the car been headed straight at me it might triggered the flight reflex, I don’t know. But it wasn’t until after the car passed and I lowered the camera the flight reflex kicked in and I involuntarily stepped numerous step backwards.


    For what it’s worth, the cars have a very sturdy roll cage. The way it pierced the car was sort of like a chink in chain link armor: it found the one spot it could dig in. Had it hit more directly with the driver is, it probably wouldn’t have pierced it so much as dented it. I can also understand the fear of fire more than the fear of the hit. Fire is a nasty way to go…


    @macahan – and, realize that autox cars are going, typically*, under 55mph. Doesn’t sound impressive till you have one go *so* close. This has definitely affected my behavior around road construction workers.

    *mine may be less :-)

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