Accidents on a NASCAR racetrack aren’t rare. But, an accident at the Daytona International Speedway involving an Air Titan is a bit out of the ordinary.
Believe it or not, that actually happened on Thursday (Feb. 11). You can watch it below.
“Spun from the lead! What a heartbreaker!” one Twitter user posted in response to the video. “Wow,” another said. Another user humorously captured the mood of the situation with one word – “Whoops.”
So, what happened that led to this bizarre incident?
According to an article by 247sports.com, a downpour of rain settled over the Daytona International Speedway on Thursday. The rain began after the first of the Bluegreen Vacations Duel races was completed, but before the second race could begin.
With the track now wet, the Air Titans were called in. These vehicles are kept on standby at NASCAR events to dry the track should inclement weather stall a race. So, when it stopped raining on Thursday, the Air Titans took to the track to do their assigned job.
According to the article, the Air Titans were into Turn Four of Daytona International Speedway and one of them began having issues. The vehicle fishtailed. This caused it to turn sideways as it moved down toward the inside of the track. The Air Titan hit the track’s apron and equipment attached to the back of the vehicle broke away.
Fortunately, the accident didn’t further delay the return to racing on Thursday and the duels continued. It is important that the Bluegreen Vacations Duel went forward, according to the article. Those races help set the lineup for the Daytona 500.
Daytona 500 2021: NASCAR Faces Backlash Over Duel Rule
The accident involving the Air Titan wasn’t the only news coming out of the Daytona International Speedway on Thursday. During the first race of the Bluegreen Vacations Duel, Tyrone “Ty” Dillon was eliminated from the Daytona 500 because he finished in sixth place in the 150-mile qualifying race.
Unfortunately for Dillon, only the top-finishing Open driver in each Duel race advances, according to reports. To put it briefly, Dillon did not have a better qualifying time than Austin Cindric. Due to this, Dillon needed to finish in front of both Cindric and Ryan Preece. Because Dillon didn’t do that, he did not qualify for the upcoming Daytona 500.
Following Dillon’s elimination, NASCAR’s official Twitter account shared a photo of the driver with the caption, “Heartbreak.” In the photo, Dillon is clearly distraught and is leaning against his No. 96 Toyota Camry.
The post was not happily received by fans. Some were upset that Dillon lost, while others expressed their disapproval of NASCAR’s recent changes to its duel rules.
“Heartbreak? How about fix the duel rule. This was dumb. Highest finishing car from each duel makes it. Locked in open cars don’t count towards the cars that need to race in. Idiotic,” one fan posted.
“If only he had beat the other cars he was battling for the open spot, oh wait he did…” another said.