Technical Problems Throughout NASCAR History

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Vol 44 Issue 31

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Technical Problems Throughout NASCAR History

An as-yet undiagnosed tire-related issue meant that NASCAR's Brickyard 400 was a minor disaster, but it isn't the first time mechanical setbacks have struck the least advanced form of motorsport:

1950: Due to both steering and visual problems, two cars collide violently in the middle of a race

1971: Window netting adopted following the tragic decapitation of Wally Hucklepup, Richard Petty's beloved coon hound

1975: To fight the problem of track debris accumulating in the bodywork, NASCAR bans the El Camino from competition

1979: When Cale Yarborough's secret turbo is stolen by the Jethro Brothers, Bo and Luke must outwit Boss Hogg to get it back—without breaking parole

1981: Dadgum thing just up and quit workin' on me; never happened when my cousin owned it, I tell you what

1984: Teams struggle to come to grips with new technologies as NASCAR introduces the "suspension," the "chassis," and the "tires with air inside them"

1990: 225,000 deaths result when every fan in the Darlington Speedway stands slowly falls asleep and asphyxiates when faulty valves on all the competing cars result in a massive carbon monoxide leak

1996: Due to faulty engine mounts, the entire drive train is torn out of Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s Chevrolet in the second-worst mechanical failure of his career

2007: The Coca-Cola 600 grinds to a halt as pit-crew men up and down pit row stare in gape-jawed incomprehension at the sight of a metric fastener on Dale Jarrett's Toyota

2008: Tony Stewart's #20 car is forced off the track after suffering catastrophic decal failure

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