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10 Weirdest NASCAR Race Intrusions

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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As the saying goes, anything can and will happen on live television. That’s not just a line WWE uses, it’s true, and NASCAR has had their fair share of oddball moments and overall utter strangeness. As tweeted by NBC, the Orange incident happened 19 years ago this weekend. Being reminded of this got our gears turning here at The Daily Downforce.

So, let’s talk about some strange or bizarre moments captured on camera that put a hitch in the plans of NASCAR and/or the drivers plans for a smooth race weekend.

#1: The Time Tropicana Made A Qualifying Run

Of course, first up is the infamous orange incident. It happened during a 2004 qualifying session at Chicagoland. A gust of wind hit a giant inflatable Tropicana Orange just right and carried it onto the racing surface during an active session. The balloon was almost hit by the No. 7 car but he was narrowly able to squeeze by. One thing is for certain: the orange completed the lap and set a new track record.

#2: A Shoe Breaks The Heart of Danicamania

Danica Patrick today is seen generally as a NASCAR bust. But that wasn’t always the case. When she first made the move from INDYCAR over to NASCAR, there were a lot of eyes on her and she brought a lot of fans with her. It may have slightly helped her out that she was driving the No. 7 car for NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver at the time, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

While she never lived up to the hype placed onto her, she was very close to winning a race in the Xfinity Series. As the laps were winding down in the 2012 race in Montreal, Patrick was in a commanding position. That was until someone threw a shoe onto the racing surface. Patrick ran over it and it broke something underneath her Go Daddy Impala. She would drop like a rock soon after and bring it home in the 27th position. Absolutely tragic.

#3: Matt Kenseth’s Red Flag Autograph Session

During a red flag at Walkins Glen one year, a fan raced onto the track and over to the passenger side window of Matt Kenseth’s No. 17 Dewalt Fusion. And, yes, I know what you are thinking: it wasn’t our buddy Eric…we think.

Whatever the case, the fan did get his autograph and was then subsequently arrested. Apparently, there were an absurd amount of arrests that weekend, ranging from this to public urination to…pretty much everything in-between. Kind of a strange fact to go with our list here. Do with it what you will.

#4: Nineteen Years of Trying

Dale Earnhardt’s struggles to win the Daytona 500 have been documented online ad nauseum. As NASCAR celebrates its 75th anniversary, one of the memories that will never be forgotten, and is occasionally played in a video package before any given race, is when Dale Earnhardt finally captured the big one in 1998. I’m sure all of you can hear Mike Joy emotionally say: “Twenty years of trying, twenty years of frustration.” That sometimes plays on loop in my own mind.

During one of his two sit downs with Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the Dale Jr. Download, Larry Mac said that people come up to him all the time and thank him for finally delivering that illusive race to Earnhardt and his fans. Mac rather humbly responds with: “I was just the guy atop the pit box when nothing went wrong.” It’s true.

One of the stranger moments was the time a seagull flew in front of the No. 3 Goodwrench Chevy and got absolutely creamed. This would throw Earnhardt off strategy as he would need repairs from the massive hit. His car was never as good as it was just prior to that moment. What a freaky set of circumstances!

#5: A Fan’s Most Interesting View

We don’t know what possessed this fan to climb the catch fence and have a seat. We can only assume that a substance or two was involved. Whatever the case, one year at Richmond, some dude climbed the catch fence and sat down. Maybe he felt his seats weren’t close enough to the action, I don’t know.

#6: Matt DiBenedetto Gets Turned By A Safety Vehicle

In 2015 during pitstops at Sonoma, good ole Matty D was involved in an incident as he attempted to turn left into his pit stall. Now, pit road run-ins are hardly unheard of. What’s not so typical when it comes to this accident is the fact that it was a Toyota Safety Truck that was the other vehicle involved. At least they got out unscathed.

#7: The Time Smoke Headlines in Kansas

In 2013 during a race at Kansas, a caution was thrown due to smoke. No, not THE SMOKE, as in Tony Stewart, and it wasn’t an actual car that caused the cloud of smoke to linger onto the racing surface. By all accounts, it was a fire started by a poorly put out cigarette.

#8: A Nutcat Almost Becomes Roadkill At the Hands of Kevin Harvick

During a race at Atlanta, Kevin Harvick keys in on his radio that he almost hit a cat. In the footage below, you can see a fairly sizeable black blob dart across the racing surface in front of Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Jimmy Johns machine.

After further investigation, it wasn’t a cat at all but a pretty big squirrel.

#9: Light Precipitation at Auto Club Speedway

In 2008 at Auto Club Speedway, a caution light fell from the catch fence and littered down to the racing surface. I’d call that light precipitation.

#10: Chris Buescher Picks Up Some New Sponsorship

One year at the Charlotte Roval, Chris Buescher in his No. 37 Chevy for JTG Racing spun. He hit a sign sponsored by EchoPark Automotive and got along so well with the sponsorship group that he decided to take their signage with him.

What are some other strange things to happen during NASCAR races? Let us know, Daily Downforce readers!

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Picture of Cody Williams

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
All Posts