On this Monday after rain washed out yesterdays Michigan 400, and is threatening to cancel the race again today, it’s time for a look back in time, all the way back to the 1960 Daytona 500, the second annual Daytona 500.
The biggest multicar accident in Nascar history occurred when 49 cars, out of a 68 car field were involved in an early race incident. 37 cars were took out of the race. Despite virtually no safety standards by comparison to today, it was incredible that no drivers were fataly injured, with only 8 drivers sustaining very minor cuts and bruises.
The 37-car crash involved 75.5% of the field; a crash of similar proportions would be a 33-car crash in today’s 43-car field. There has been a 27-car crash at Talladega Superspeedway in recent years.
The race continued and with two laps to go, Bobby Johns had everything in hand except the trophy and the nearly $20,000 first-place check until a freak gust of wind shattered the rear window on Johns’ 1960 Pontiac, sending his car spinning backwards down the backstretch where it narrowly missed splashing into Lake Lloyd.
By the time Johns regained his control of his car and got running again, Junior Johnson sped by, leaving Johns a frustrated runner-up. The Petty’s, Lee and Richard took third and fourth, the only other cars on the lead lap at the finish.