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Collecting NASCAR wrecks…..on a photo!

Even the most die-hard NASCAR fan ( you know, the guys like me who travel to the race tracks to see amazing side-by-side racing ) will tell you that one of the most exciting aspects of every race week-end is the looming danger of a major wreck. These stunning wrecks are commonly known as “The Big One” within the sport. However, “The Big One” doesn’t actually have to be “BIG” to be memorable. It just needs to involve these three factors.

1. A fast car being  hit, slammed, bombed, or slightly touched by another car that’s racing only inches away at speeds of around 200mph.

2. Lift-Off! The out of control car’s wheels leaves the surface of the race track. This makes the several ton car both a missile and a flying obstacle that the other drivers must avoid.

3. No matter how bad the car is damaged, the driver MUST walk away from the wreck un-hurt. These wrecks are NOT a fun thing to witness if a driver is hurt.

Once you have all three factors in place. BOOM! you have NASCAR history.  One of the fun sub-set categories of NASCAR autograph collecting is trying to collect photos of these wrecks that are signed by the driver of the “flying” car.

Here are a few examples of  some of the more popular wrecks captured on signed 8×10 photos.

Darrell Waltrip:In 27 years of racing in the top levels of NASCAR, D.W. had his share of wrecks. Including a 1990 wreck at Daytona that broke his leg. However, this 1991 Daytona wreck presented an amazing photo opportunity. This car now rests in the Daytona USA museum.  One thing to notice is how Darrell’s arm is sticking out of the car’s roof. This shows how the G-forces inside the car leave the driver unable to control his body.

Darrell Waltrip Wreck

2009 had it’s share of major wrecks as the best drivers in NASCAR battled hard for the win and the 10 extra championship points that were awarded to the winner of each race.

1st, Joey Logano took to the air at Dover. As you can see, his flying car became a mid-air wall for other cars.

Joey Logano wrecks at Dover

in 2009 Talladega, AL was a demolition derby of sorts. This track has always showcased some amazing wrecks. However, in 2009, the track struck back hard at these drivers.

Mark Martin:This wreck happened as Mark was in a heated battle with Jimmie Johnson for the NACAR sprint Cup Championship.

Mark Martin Wrecks at Talladega. 2009

Ryan Newman: In the same race, the popular driver for the U.S. ARMY turned his race car into a fighter Jet.

Ryan Newman Wrecks at Talladega. 2009

The most spectacular wreck of not only 2009, but also one of the most amazing and frightening wrecks in NASCAR history involved three drivers, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, & Brad Keselowski. This wreck occurred as the three drivers were fighting for the race wiin. Just mere feet from the finish line, the rookie Brad Keselowski ran into the Race Leader Carl Edwards ( who tried to block Brad’s oncoming car ). The result was a fabulous wreck. Carl’s car went airborne, Hit Ryan Newman’s car, then went into the safety fence that separates the fans from the on-track action. Even though the fence did it’s job and kept the car from flying into the stands, several fans were injured by debris. Brad Keselowski ended up winning his 1st Sprint Cup race while Carl Edwards climbed from his car and ran across the finish line on foot ( to the cheer of the crowd ).  Here are some signed images from the wreck.

Carl Edwards Wrecks at Talladega. 2009

Carl Edwards Climbs from his Wrecked Claritin Car.

These amazing wrecks can happen at any time, to any driver. Some of the top names in the sport have had their wild rides through the air. Including “The King” Richard Petty.

Richard Petty wrecks #1

Richard Petty Wrecks #2

Richard Petty Wrecks #3

So, while none of us want to see a driver’s safety put into danger. This fun category of NASCAR Autographs is fun and rewarding to collect. May times, the drivers will comment about the wreck when they are signing the photos. So, you get to capture a moment with the drivers as well as walk away with a cool collectible.

Next, I will discuss the catagory of collecting autographed  race win photos.

The images shown here are the personal property of Brandon Mysinger and may not be used without permission.

Heavyweight Autographs

By TRAVIS ROSTE
Autograph March 2010
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