15 Insane Auto Racing Crash GIFs
The 2012 Daytona 500 got off to a bit of a shaky start, didn’t it? For a while there, it was starting to feel more like a Major League Baseball game than a NASCAR race, with fans having to wait out not one but two rain-delays. However, once the race actually got underway Monday, we were given a spectacle no baseball game could ever provide: a fire delay. Juan Pablo Montoya lost control of his car and crashed into the back of a jet dryer truck carrying 200 gallons of kerosene, which set off a massive fireball.
So, as always, just when you start to think auto racing is kind of boring, something blows up. It’s totally awesome—unless someone dies.
Today, we celebrate the awesomeness of auto racing with a list of 15 insane crash GIFs. If you’re not a fan of NASCAR, or IndyCar, or Formula 1, or some other kind of auto racing…you just might be after you check these out.
We start off with a “mild” crash from this year’s Daytona 500. If you saw this scene unfold before you on the highway while driving to work, you’d probably soil yourself. So the fact that it is “mild” for NASCAR really says something about what’s at stake on any given day.
Oh, and just for good measure, here’s a gif of the fire cause by Montoya’s collision with the jet dryer:
15. Daytona 2012
Don’t you just love physics? Here you have a heavy stock car spin out and float off the track like a freakin feather. Bonus points for the way the car hits the wall, lands, and just keeps on going. It’s like magic.
14. Like a kite
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why they make 3D televisions.
13. F1 driver loses control
Here’s a nice view from the car of IndyCar driver Will Power. It allows the viewers at home to remember, “oh, right—that’s why I don’t drive race cars for a living.”
12. Will Power’s view
Everything I know about motorcross I learned from Excitebike on the NES, so I’m hardly an expert. But I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed to take out opponents by crashing into them like this. Though it was be awesome if that was allowed.
11. Motorcross takeout
The downside to F1 racing is that, with all the turns, on TV it doesn’t look like the cars are going all that fast. The upside is that, with all the turns, there are more opportunities for crashes. Then, all of a sudden, it does look like they’re going that fast.
I can’t tell for sure who’s behind the wheel here, but it’s probably either Sebastian Vettel or Mark Webber, the two drivers for Red Bull Racing.
10. Driver had too much Red Bull
You wouldn’t think a crash involving just one car could be so spectacular. But, as this one proves, if you thought that, you’d be wrong. Not even the poor quality of the GIF can diminish the awesomeness of this crash.
9. Insane one-car crash
One second you’re behind the wheel of a race car, going 225mph. The next, you’re behind the wheel of a steel cage that used to be a race car, sitting in the middle of a race track.
Ah, the life of a race car driver.
8. From car to non-car in 2.2 seconds
You know what ruins an awesome donut and peel-out? Hitting a guy trying to cross the race track.
Maybe team Red Bull should consider reducing the amount of their sponsor’s product the drivers are allowed to drink on race day.
7. Still too much Red Bull
This guy’s crotchrocket is like a heat-seeking missile. It’s like the thing is programmed to seek the nearest competitor and take him out in the event that the driver falls off.
6. Runaway bike tackles other racer
This crash is like a magician’s trick: now you see the car—smash, bang, presto!—now you don’t.
If it moves, men will race it.
This maxim explains why this clip of a crash at a Cooper Mini race even exists. Though I must admit, while I find the idea of racing these silly little cars comical, the crash is pretty spectacular.
4. Mini crash
Jeff Jefferson shows that you don’t have to be in one of NASCAR’s national racing series (i.e., the Sprint Cup or Nationwide Series) to be involved in amazing crashes. In fact, given that the drivers and equipment of the lower NASCAR series are generally inferior, I’d say amazing crashes are probably more likely.
3. NASCAR K&N Pro Series
I don’t know if even the best stunt driver in Hollywood could make a car do cartwheels like this. Makes me think I should check out more rally car races this year.
2. Rally car does cartwheels
Just seeing a motorcycle racer go flying and tumbling into the barricade in slow motion is cool enough. Seeing another motorcycle go flying in and just barely miss knocking his head right off his body? That’s insane. This may be the luckiest man on earth.