One of the most awe-inspiring yet terrifying weapons in Mother Nature’s arsenal is undoubtedly the lightning bolt. Five times hotter than the surface of the sun and carrying a billion volts of pure energy, a single lightning strike is capable of reducing a tree to cinders, turning water into steam, and stopping a human heart in an instant.
With all that power, you might have guessed that a lightning bolt can also cause a car’s electrical system to go haywire, should the vehicle receive a direct hit. And that’s exactly what happened in Moorseville, North Carolina, on Wednesday. Specifically, at the headquarters of JR Motorsports, a professional racing team co-owned by legendary NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“Starting the year off with a bang,” JR Motorsports wrote jokingly above the shocking (pun intended) video of a truck receiving a punch from a lightning strike.
Starting the year off with a bang. pic.twitter.com/Ud6KQ8x4Zz— JR Motorsports (@JRMotorsports) January 4, 2023
JR Motorsports HQ is Also a Lightning Rod
Through the surveillance footage, it’s clear to see a white Chevy truck parked in the back of the lot on a rainy day. The video is without audio, making the gloomy scene eerily still and what happens next even more startling. The frame is suddenly consumed by a white light, blotting out everything but the lightning strike’s blinding glare.
Within the blink of an eye, the light is gone, replaced by a stream of energy connecting the clouds to the white truck. The cloud of sparks generated by the strike is so intense that the truck is once again out of sight.
Finally, the lingering sparks sink into the ground, leaving nothing but smoke in their wake. As the video neared its end, the only sign the lightning was ever there were the blaring lights of the Chevy, strangely turned on by the bolt.
Believe it or not, that wasn’t the only lightning incident JR Motorsports endured in the Wednesday morning storm. Apparently, their headquarters doubles as a lightning rod. In another video posted by the racing team, another bolt of lightning strikes a gate near the entrance, leaving sparks and smoke surrounding the metal post in its wake.
NASCAR Community Cracks Jokes About Lightning Strikes
Thankfully, JR Motorsports reported no injuries or damages from the crackling storm – which immediately opened the team up to jokes from their friends at NASCAR. “Ka-Chow,” FOX NASCAR replied, referencing the iconic Cars race car, Lightning McQueen.
“Wild way to make a driver announcement but mad respect,” added Petty GMS, who included a GIF of McQueen.
Then, of course, drivers had to add jokes of their own. “Looks like Megatron getting the All Spark,” wrote J.J. Yeley. “Was Drew Brees there?” chimed in Conor Daly, referencing the infamous commercial shoot in which it appears Brees was struck by lightning (spoiler alert: he wasn’t).