Tags: derricke cope | race | car | explodes | watkins glen

Derricke Cope's Exploding Race Car Impounded at Watkins Glen

Image: Derricke Cope's Exploding Race Car Impounded at Watkins Glen

Derrike Cope's exploding car. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

By    |   Monday, 08 Aug 2016 11:22 AM

Derricke Cope's exploding race car was impounded by NASCAR after it blew up on Saturday during the 60th lap of the Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen International in New York.

Cope had pulled his No. 70 Chevrolet into the inner loop of the race track when its hood crumpled and smoke came from the vehicle before the explosion, according to NBC Sports. Cope was treated at the track's care center but there were no reports of injuries.

NASCAR.com said the explosion was a result of excessive brake heat that couldn't escape, forcing a dramatic tire failure, per Elton Sawyer, NASCAR vice president of officiating and technical inspection.

"In 35 years of racing, I don't think I've ever seen that transpire before," said Cope, who won the Daytona 500 in 1990, per Motor Trend.com. "We were just trying to survive and get through this thing so next week we could kind of work on this thing."

"I lost the brake pedal going into Turn 1, and I knew something happened to a piston or whatever so I just went easy down there and got off the end down there and started coming to a stop, and the whole thing just blew the hood off. And I don't know really what it was. It looked like the shocks were all intact and the tires were up, so I don't know really what exploded." 

Sawyer told NASCAR.com that Cope's car made contact with another racer one or two laps before the explosion, causing a vibration and brake issues on his car's right-front corner. Sawyer said when Cope's brake pedal went awry, he said exited the course.

The contact broke the brake caliper where it attached to the spindle because of the previous contact, said Sawyer. That created excessive heat to melt the bead on the right-front tire's inner sidewall.

"As soon as the vehicle comes to a stop, you've got all that radiant heat and it's just sitting there at the soft point of the sidewall, which is where it basically explodes," Sawyer said.

Video of the explosion has been viewed more than 188,000 times on YouTube.


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Derricke Cope's exploding race car was impounded by NASCAR after it blew up on Saturday during the 60th lap of the Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen International in New York.
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2016-22-08
Monday, 08 Aug 2016 11:22 AM
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