While winning is the ultimate goal for every driver who ever turns a wheel on a racetrack, others have made an impact (for lack of a better term) on Thunder as part of some of the most spectacular sprint car and midget accidents that have ever occurred.
Crashing is a part of the game. A not-so-pretty and costly part of the game, but it's still part of what makes this sport so unpredictable.
Be that as it may, the following drivers all escaped from these wild crashes that made our hearts stop and our knees tremble live on Thunder. This is part one of the wildest wrecks we've ever seen.
Mark Gerke at Winchester (1993)
A stuck throttle sends Mark Gerke to the birds and into the trees outside turns three and four during heat race action at Winchester Speedway.
Stevie Reeves at Indianapolis Raceway Park (1993)
Stevie Reeves would go on to win a second consecutive USAC National Midget title in 1993, but not before a heart-stopping, sudden stop into the catch fence during a heat race at IRP.
Bob Cicconi at Indianapolis Raceway Park (1992)
Bob Cicconi was known for making things spectacular at times, but the Pennsylvania driver did not intend to do it with a crash fairly similar to Reeves’, who did the same thing a year later in nearly the same spot.
Ron Koehler at Indianapolis Raceway Park (1998)
Ron Koehler was giving his USAC Sprinter the ride of its life, nearing the first heat race win of his long career. However, that dream ended in a hurry when Jack Hewitt’s throttle stuck, creating a massive calamity that also involved Brian Tyler. Koehler and Tyler walked away unharmed, although Jack Hewitt was the one who actually took the worst of the wear.
Jack Calabrase & Mark Dismore at Indianapolis Raceway Park (1988)
A last lap battle for a solid finish concluded in disaster for both drivers. Dismore, a future IndyCar winner at Texas Motor Speedway, tumbled seemingly endlessly, taking a beating as the car barrel-rolled and adding a hard landing at the end for a less than ideal ending.