Jet dryer catches on fire, halting the Daytona 500 on Lap 160
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Daytona 500 is never without incident. But what happened 160 laps into the 54th edition of The Great American Race is completely unprecedented: Juan Pablo Montoya was racing around the track under caution, trying to catch up to the field, when he lost control of his car and crashed into a jet dryer that was blowing debris off the track. What ensued was something completely bizarre. Safety workers try to extinguish a fire from a jet dryer after it was hit by Juan Pablo Montoya at the Daytona 500. (Getty Images) Fuel poured out of the jet dryer, caught on fire and set a line of flames across the track rising some 20 to 30 feet into the air. Montoya got out of his car unhurt, while the driver of the jet dryer was taken to a local hospital. "I left the pits and I felt a weird vibration," Montoya explained. "We were on the backstretch and we really weren't going that fast. I could feel the car squeezing and when I told the spotter to take a look, the car just came right. "He was OK," Montoya said of the jet-dryer driver. "He just looked pretty scared." The fire was so intense Montoya's car immediately disintegrated and the race was red flagged as officials tried to put out the fire, which persisted for some five to 10 minutes. With the tires on the jet dryer completely burned off, officials needed a backhoe to remove it from the track. Dave Blaney, who's never won a Sprint Cup Series race in 397 starts, was the leader at the time of the incident ...
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