Daytona Beach, FL – In another bizarre twist of events at this year's Daytona 500, Juan Pablo Montoya's car slammed into a jet drying vehicle while the race was under caution with 40 laps remaining at Daytona International Speedway.
After making his pit stop, Montoya was traveling at a high rate of speed on the backstretch while rejoining the field, but Montoya lost control and slid into the back of the jet dryer located in turn three. The vehicle, which had jet fuel on board, burst into flames.
The fuel from the vehicle then spilled down the track surface and caught fire, prompting track personnel and safety crews to immediately arrive at the scene and put the fire out.
NASCAR officials quickly halted the race.
There were no injuries, as occupants in the vehicle quickly exited. However, the driver needed assistance in getting out of the vehicle. He was reportedly taken to a nearby hospital in Daytona Beach for further observation.
Montoya also walked away from the incident unscathed and was examined and released from the track's infield care center shortly after. The front end of his Chevrolet was completely demolished.
Dave Blaney was leading the race at the time NASCAR displayed the red flag.
The Daytona 500 is now official since it is more than halfway complete. If the track surface is too badly damaged and NASCAR is forced to end the race short of its scheduled 200-lap distance, Blaney would be credited with the victory in the sport's most prestigious race of the season. He has yet win a race in NASCAR's premier series.
Weather has also become a factor. There is more rain heading towards the area. Sunday's scheduled Daytona 500 was postponed until Monday night due to precipitation.