By Pete Pistone
(Montoya's wild accident Monday night in Daytona brought out a two hour red flag - Getty Images)
Juan Pablo Montoya’s crash with a jet dryer and the blazing fire that erupted and halted the Daytona 500 for more than two hours was just the latest addition to the list of bizarre NASCAR race happenings.
Daytona International Speedway has seen its share of weirdness over the years racing from Dale Earnhardt hitting a seagull at speed racing down the backstretch to a driver (ok I admit it, my uncle “Tiger” Tom Pistone) actually wearing a mask and bolting an oxygen tank in his car as a precaution to driving into Lake Lloyd. He couldn’t swim if you haven’t guessed by now.
There was the infamous Daytona pot hole in 2010 that formed in turn two and brought the race – and some say NASCAR’s momentum that season – to a screeching halt.
Sterling Marlin gave up a chance to win the 2002 Daytona 500 when under a red flag he jumped out of his car on the backstretch and pulled his damaged fender away from the tire. That move resulted in NASCAR penalizing Marlin and dropping him from first to twelfth in the field.
"I just pulled the fender off the tire, 'cause it was rubbing," Marlin said. "I saw Dale (Earnhardt) do it at Richmond once and NASCAR let him get away with it, but I guess the rules have changed in the meantime.”
Daytona is not alone in the weirdness department. Other tracks have had their share over the years.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway endured the tire debacle of the 2008 Brickyard 400, that saw caution flags fly every ten laps when Goodyear rubber literally fell apart after a handful of circuits.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway ran a restrictor plate race in 2001 after the deaths of Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin and fears of high speeds.
But Pocono Raceway may take the prize on the weirdness awards.
The rustic track located in the Pocono Mountains has had many incidents of animals wandering onto the track including rabbits, chickens and ducks.
But nothing can top the time Neil Bonnett once returned to the garage during practice with blood on the hood of his car and the antlers from a deer stuck in the grille.