On Lap 70, as a smaller second pack of cars made their way towards Turn 1, Kenny Wallace was spun from behind into the outside wall by another car. Stanley Smith (#49) dived down the banking to avoid Wallace, but clipped the side of Jimmy Horton (#32) in the process. Both cars hooked up towards the outside retaining wall; Smith slamming head-on into the concrete barrier, while Horton tumbled up the banking, catapulted over the wall, rolled all the way down the outside embankment and through a chain-link fence, before coming to rest on a service road in a cloud of red clay. Horton walked away with only minor cuts and bruises.
Smith's impact was so severe that the front of his firesuit was completely covered in blood resulting from his skull being cracked from ear-to-ear. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital in critical condition with a basilar skull fracture and the loss of one eye in the crash. Smith would recover, but would never compete in the highest levels of racing again, and it would be many years before he even returned to the drivers seat.
The following year, the speedway installed catch fencing along both turns to prevent another such incident.
NASCAR Cup Series
Pontiac Grand Prix
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