Here's What Happens When NASCAR Brakes Fail At 120 MPH

Photo credit: NASCAR/Twitter
Brake failure is every racer's nightmare. If it happens at the end of a main straight, it's a worst-case scenario. Reigning NASCAR Champion Kyle Larson experienced just that today when he was suddenly unable to slow down at Turn 1 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway street circuit.
In the braking zone, Larson appeared to hit the brakes twice without slowing at all. This put him well above his target entry speed through the turn, forcing a quick reaction to slow down the immediately inevitable significant hit. Larson is much further away from the right side wall that could help him slow down in a side impact in front of a tire stack and instead tries to miss the corner and fly into the run-out area. In doing so, he hits Ty Dillon's #42 Chevrolet diagonally at the apex of the curve. The hit allowed Larson to dissipate most of the impact with less velocity variance before spinning through the grass.
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The crash still sent his car into the air and left both him and Dillon suffering a pretty severe hit, but it allowed Larson to reduce the impact significantly. Telemetry shown by NBC's NASCAR broadcast showed Larson was driving approximately 120 MPH at the time of impact, a frightening speed to crash head-on into a wall when he hadn't been able to scrub off some speed by going sideways instead slipped into the moving Dillon.
Both Larson and Dillon were able to get out of their cars under their own power. Larson also appeared to seek out Dillon to apologize after getting out of his car. In a post-crash interview, Dillon called the crash "about the hardest thing he'd hit of anything". Larson, who was also released from the NASCAR infield shortly after the crash, declined to comment to NBC. The race resumed after a brief warning.
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