Miguel Paludo dominated the first half of the NextEra Energy Resources 250, but his night has ended with a terrifying crash off the fourth turn with fewer than 20 laps remaining. Paludo walked away from the crash, one that saw his pole-winning Chevrolet Silverado fly through the air after slamming the inside SAFER Barrier.
The accident appeared to start when Paludo, running behind teammate and race leader Nelson Piquet Jr. and in front of James Buescher in another Turner Motorsports machine, got loose exiting the fourth turn. His truck shot accross the track and slammed the wall with tremendous force, turning a 360 with all four wheels completely off the ground before landing and skidding to a flaming halt. It was an accident very reminiscent of Danica Patrick's crash at the end of the first Gatorade Duel Thursday.
As Paludo crashed, Jason White and Johnny Sauter were making a strong push to break up what has been a Turner Motorsports benefit show at the front of the field. Paludo, Piquet Jr., and Buescher had led all laps completed under the green flag until White inched ahead at the caution. With Paludo out of the hunt, it is up to Piquet Jr., the son of the Formula 1 legend, if one of the Brazilians who started from the front row are to win tonight's event.