Most race cars are designed to be as streamlined as possible, limiting drag and providing ultimate downforce on the track to achieve maximum speeds.
Most sprint cars are similar, equipped with massive rear wing on the vehicle to drive the tires into the dirt. Some sprint cars, however, aren’t equipped with much (if any) rear downforce, forcing the driver to walk a fine line of control as the machinery is manhandled sideways around the oval.
Last weekend, 25-year-old Austin Williams lost that control during a qualifying run at Perris Auto Speedway in California and subsequently cleared a 22-foot fence.
Thankfully, Williams was able to walk away under his own power after the qualifying session was immediately red flagged.
In the 21-year history of Perris Auto Speedway, no race car of any kind has ever cleared the fence surrounding the track.
So how did it happen in the first place? Physics. Pure physics.
Well, that didn’t take long.
A big pile-up kicked off the 450 Moto 1 race at the Redbud National on Saturday afternoon in Michigan.
As the bikers rounded the first turn, Trey Canard and Heath Harrison went down, followed by Cooper Webb whose front tire got stuck, catapulting him across traffic. Weston Peick was also involved in the pile up. Meanwhile, more bikers trying to avoid the crash piled up behind them.
Peick recovered to finish 14th overall, while Webb, who was in third in the race at the time of the crash, placed third to last. Canard took 13th place in the race.
Eli Tomac took home first with a best time of 2:03.084.
NBC Sports Gold will have all the motorcross races this season. Check it out here.
Rutledge Wood currently serves as a features reporter for NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR coverage.
Wood contributes reports on the storied raceways, unique towns and enthusiastic fans that make NASCAR an American treasure. Wood made his Olympic debut with NBC Sports Group as a reporter during the 2016 Olympic Games. In May, he traveled to his first Kentucky Derby and served as an event reporter for NBC Sports’ coverage of the event.
Prior to joining NBC Sports Group, Wood was a correspondent for FOX Sports 1’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pre-race show, NASCAR RaceDay. He has also hosted and co-hosted several NASCAR events, including the annual NASCAR Awards Banquet. Wood served as co-host on History Channel’s Top Gear, the American iteration of the legendary BBC program, and Lost in Transmission. Wood’s first experience in NASCAR came during his first job traveling the NASCAR circuit for Country Music Television’s mobile marketing activation. Soon after, he was hired by SPEED, where he worked for 10 seasons covering NASCAR.