The Big One (NASCAR)

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The Big One is a phrase describing any crash usually involving five or more cars in NASCAR and ARCA stock car racing. It is most commonly used at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, although occasionally seen at other tracks as well, such as Dover International Speedway.

Coining the phrase[edit]

Typical three-wide pack at Daytona International Speedway in 2015.

Until the 2000s, massive crashes were referred to as "major"[1][2][3] or "terrific"[4] crashes.

By the mid-1990s, competitors and media began taking note of the multi-car wrecks at Daytona and Talladega. In 1997, Dale Earnhardt described a final-lap crash at the 1997 Pepsi 400 as "the Big Wreck".[5] News articles began using the term "Big Wreck" to describe such crashes in 1998,[6] and by 1999, its use was widespread. Drivers began to openly admit they were apprehensive of its possibility.[7]

One of the first times the term "The Big One" was used on-air was during the Winston 500 on ESPN October 11, 1998. Commentator Bob Jenkins said during the crash on lap 134 "this is the big one we hoped we would not have."[8] One of the first published instances of the term "The Big One," was an April 18, 2000, article on ESPN.com about a crash in the DieHard 500.[9] The term was also being used informally by fans on message boards.

During the 2001 Daytona 500, Fox commentator Darrell Waltrip used the term on-air to describe an 18-car crash in the backstretch on lap 173, as saying "It's the big one, gang, it's the big one. It's what we've all been fearing in this kind of racing is going to happen."[10]

By 2001, the phrase was widely used by competitors, fans, and in print and broadcast media.[11] It soon became standard NASCAR vernacular, and it became a retronym to describe past such accidents as well.[12][13]

The Big One has been the subject of criticism of NASCAR.[13] Some have complained that the sanctioning body, promoters and media have celebrated the crashes.[13]

By 2009, Talladega Superspeedway marketed itself on the notorious crashes, with a one-third-pound frankfurter sold at the track called "The Big One".[14]

Examples[edit]

Monster Energy Cup Series[edit]

Xfinity Series[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ESPN SpeedWorld - 1989 Winston 500, May 7, 1989,
  2. ^ CBS Sports - 1992 Daytona 500, February 16, 1992,
  3. ^ NASCAR on ABC- 1998 DieHard 500 telecast, 4/26/98
  4. ^ ESPN SpeedWorld - 1994 Pepsi 400, July 7, 1990,
  5. ^ "One-lap restart irks Pepsi drivers". The Augusta Chronicle Online. Jul 6, 1997. Retrieved February 11, 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Jarrett Outruns Crashes and Gordon". The New York Times. Oct 12, 1998. Retrieved February 11, 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Engines Start For Winston 500". CBSNews.com. 1999. Retrieved February 11, 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ NASCAR on ESPN - Winston 500 telecast, 10/18/98
  9. ^ "Gordon ends drought with Talladega triumph". ESPN.com. Apr 18, 2000. Retrieved February 11, 2009. 
  10. ^ NASCAR on Fox - 2001 Daytona 500, February 18, 2001,
  11. ^ Lipsyte, Robert (Jul 9, 2001). "'The Call' Is Answered in Earnhardt's Pepsi 400 Victory". The New York Times. Retrieved Feb 11, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Matt Hagans comments on Talladega accident". Motorsport.com. Oct 6, 2005. Retrieved February 11, 2008. 
  13. ^ a b c "The 'Big One' signals need for big change". Yahoo! Sports. Apr 27, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Coming To Talladega Superspeedway: "The Big One"". Talladega Superspeedway. Apr 14, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ 2001 Daytona 500 Big One. YouTube. June 18, 2008. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  16. ^ 2002 Daytona 500 - The Big One (Live and Extended). YouTube. November 27, 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  17. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caWBVq2vZGc
  18. ^ 2002 Daytona 500 - The Big One (Live and Extended). NASCAR. YouTube. November 27, 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  19. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdE4D4kxVjk
  20. ^ "Matt Kenseth avoids 25-car pileup to win at Talladega - ESPN". ESPN. October 9, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  21. ^ Final Laps: Kenseth wins as field wrecks behind. NASCAR. YouTube. October 7, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  22. ^ Post-Race Reactions: Good Sam 500. NASCAR. YouTube. October 7, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Junior out with concussion". NASCAR. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  24. ^ Matt Kenseth Starts Huge Wreck in Segment 2 - Sprint Unlimited - 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup. Fox Sports. YouTube. February 15, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  25. ^ Dillon walks away from scary wreck. NASCAR. YouTube. July 6, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  26. ^ Race Rewind: Talladega in 15 minutes. NASCAR. YouTube. May 1, 2016. Retrieved December 26, 2016. 
  27. ^ Hembree, Mike (May 15, 2016). "Jimmie Johnson triggers Big One at Dover when gear shift fails". USA Today. Dover, Delaware: Gannett Company. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  28. ^ Pistone, Pete (May 15, 2016). "Huge Crash Red Flags Dover". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  29. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvJOobr1SOU
  30. ^ http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2002/04/21/oth_339814.shtml
  31. ^ 2002 Aaron's 312 30 Car Wreck at Talladega. NASCAR. YouTube. January 31, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  32. ^ Huge wreck in Nationwide Series race at Talladega. NASCAR. YouTube. January 31, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  33. ^ Final Laps: Buescher survives final lap mayhem. NASCAR. YouTube. February 25, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  34. ^ 2013 Drive4COPD Nationwide Kyle Larson crashes into fence. NASCAR. YouTube. February 23, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Daytona Nationwide crash: 28 fans injured; Daytona 500 will go on as scheduled". AOL.SportingNews.com. February 23, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]