In the wake of the 1999 Daytona Speed Weeks, a considerable amount of equipment laid in ruins within the confines of the garage area. Among the cars that did not fare too well was the No. 27 Castrol Chevrolet driven by 18-year-old first-time Daytona NASCAR Busch Grand National participant Casey Atwood.

The car qualified Fourth for the race, and a problem during the first caution put the car in the back of the field. As the race progressed, Atwood demonstrated his considerable driving skills--he once again was among the leaders as the race came to a close.

Coming up on the white-flag lap, Atwood, running in Second Place behind Randy Lajoie, was in position for a strong finish when the wheels figuratively and literally came off. The result is what you see in the accompanying photos.

Although the pictures speak for themselves, here is what Atwood had to say about his out-of-control ride:

"I was running in a tight pack coming up on the white-flag lap. Jeff Green's car was to my inside and Mike McLaughlin was following him. Andy Hillenburg was behind me, and his car got up under my bumper, which put me sideways. From that point, everything was out of my control.

"The first thing that happened was the right front tire being ripped off the car when it struck the gate rail along the wall going into the tri-oval. When it hit, the wheel and all the front-end suspension came flying off.

"The car went backward, air got underneath, and the car went flying. Oddly enough, as the car was in the air, I remember hearing the wind pass through, and it was eerily quiet. As the car was in midair, it went upside down, and it landed on the roof. The landing, strangely, was not hard. It slid down the front straightaway, down toward the finish line.

"At this point, things were really noisy, because the car slid for what seemed a long time on its roof, and the scraping sounded very loud. I remember thinking that I might get hit again. I could not see much at this point.

"As wild as the ride had been up to this point, what happened next was really turbulent. As the car slid toward the grass, it dug into the ground as I reached the grass, and the physics changed completely. Instead of coming to a stop on its top, the car began to barrel-roll wildly.

"I can't say that I was aware of much at this point, except that I was gripping the wheel with all my might to keep my hands and arms securely inside the rollcage.

"Finally, the car landed on its wheels, and I remember very clearly looking straight ahead and seeing my crew standing on the wall, looking straight at me. The crew wanted to come out to help, but that was not possible because there were cars still speeding by, and it was unsafe.

"When the entire incident came to an end, the emergency workers got me unbuckled, and I was taken to the infield care center. If you can believe it, after all that tumbling the only result from injury was a bruised heel on my right foot.

"I am not happy about the result of the race, but I am proud to say that we were running strong, and it looked like we were going to have a great finish at my first Daytona experience. I am grateful to be unhurt, and I look forward to my next race in Daytona."