On Lap 21, Bobby Allison blew out a right rear tire as he headed through the trioval. Allison's car spun backwards at close to 210 mph and went airborne into the catchfence near the start/finish line, just missing the flag stand by a few feet. The impact tore out a 100-foot section of the fence, scattering debris into the grandstands. Allison's Buick spun back onto the track, causing a multi-car pileup as drivers attempted to avoid the stationary vehicle. The race was red-flagged for two and a half hours to repair the fence.
Allison was not injured, but several spectators were injured from the shower of debris. Many were treated and released at the track hospital, but some were rushed to local hospitals. David Townes, 23, of Union City, TN and Sara Cork, 27, of Tuscaloosa, AL both suffered eye lacerations resulting from flying glass. Kenneth Goldman suffered a puncture wound in the chest.
As a result of the crash, NASCAR began implementing the use of restrictor plates at both Talladega and Daytona, bringing speeds down to a safer pace.
NASCAR Cup Series
Pontiac Grand Prix
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
David Townes (spectator)
Sara Cork (spectator)
Steve Barnette; Joe Rose Sr.; Bryant McMurray; Grand National Scene
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