Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 3/10/12

The fiery crash we witnessed at this year’s Daytona 500 was one of the most breathtaking sights in NASCAR history. There have been countless wrecks and blazes over the years, but never has a car slammed into the track jet dryer and caused that type of explosion. The man who was driving the car that slammed into the jet dryer was Juan Pablo Montoya. Naturally, the car was rendered useless after the collision — in racing terms that is. For Dale Earnhardt Jr., the hunk of steel has become the latest addition to a collection of more than 50 cars.

Earnhardt Jr. was given the No. 42 Target car by Montoya’s crew chief Chris Heroy, who worked on Dale’s crew last season.

“He’s a buddy of mine and he gave it to me,” Dale Jr. said. “I got about 50 or 60 cars out there and I didn’t buy any of them. He calls me and I get my property manager, Sonny, to go over there and load it up and bring it over. We get a forklift or a tractor with a forklift or frontend loader and just carry it into the woods and just set it out there somewhere.

“That one’s good. That one ranks right up there. I’ve got the car (Dennis) Setzer flipped when he was driving for Keselowski at Talladega so that was pretty cool, but it ranks right up there. It’s one of the top two or three.”

It looks like more than just the Tide company benefited from the fiery wreck. As cliche as it may sound, one man’s trash truly is another man’s treasure.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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