Helio Castroneves Just Survived a Backflipping Indy Crash

We wouldn’t have bet on his walking away. 

Three-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves had one of racing’s most dramatic and aerobatic crashes Tuesday, but somehow emerged from his battered Indy car with all limbs still attached. Between turns one and two, Castroneves lost control, sending his car careening backwards into the barrier before the nose caught wind and sent the car into a full back-flip that—luckily—ended with the car shiny side up. We never take pleasure in the crashes (that’s for NASCAR), but the fact that Castroneves restraint systems kept him so safe during the flip means we get to enjoy the insanity without any tragedy. Plus, Castroneves came away with some one of the best “One time, at work…” stories ever. 

In another poor stroke of luck for Indy, this week British racer Pippa Mann also lost control of her car, sending it spinning down the track yesterday during a practice lap before it came to rest minus two wheels. Many people bemoan professional racing’s extensive safety measures, saying they’ve neutered the sport, but two crashes at Indy in two days only means one thing: these racers, and these immensely powerful cars, are operating right at the electrifying limits.