April 25, 2009
It's out there, lurking: The Big One. Maybe it'll hit early, maybe late, but it's going to happen this weekend at Talladega, a wreck that'll collect car after car and change the entire complexion of the race. Like no other track besides Daytona, Talladega provides the ideal conditions -- speed, banking, width -- for a devastating Big One to go down.
Now, since my biggest Big One involved collecting a couple deer on a lonely road late one night, I'm not the best guy to talk on this subject. Fortunately, we have in-house someone who is: Yahoo! Sports' Ricky Craven, who breaks down why Talladega spawns such enormous wrecks, and the possibilities for one to happen this weekend:
Now, to steel our hearts for what's almost certain to happen Sunday, let's take a look back at how bad it could be ...
First and foremost, it's Bobby Allison's wreck in the 1987 Winston 500. Allison's car goes up onto the fence and very nearly flips into the audience. This wreck right here was the reason for restrictor-plate racing, and anybody who's against it ought to imagine their family sitting right there as Bobby's car went by:
Next up: Elliott Sadler's unbelievable airborne flip from 2003, even after restrictor plates were introduced. If the plates weren't on, Sadler might well have gone into orbit:
Rusty Wallace launches into the air in the 1993 Winston 500. Again, how these guys are able to walk away from these is amazing, but thankfully, they are:
Finally, even NASCAR legends weren't immune. Dale Earnhardt got turned into the wall in 1996 and broke his collarbone, but check out the thumbs-up he gives the crowd as he walks to the ambulance:
For many more Big Ones from Talladegas past, check out Bump Drafts' comprehensive review ... and keep an eye out on Sunday.
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