News & Media


Top 10 bad luck moments in NASCAR

March 06, 2014, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com

Count down the worst hands dealt in NASCAR history ahead of Las Vegas weekend

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She can be a fickle mistress, that Lady Luck.

Nowhere is that more known than in Las Vegas, the city hosting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the palatial 1.5-mile speedway north of town this weekend. The denizens of Sin City are more than familiar with a bad card from the dealer, a horse that pulls up in the stretch run, a roll of the dice coming up snake eyes. It's a town where luck -- or the concept of it -- is as much a part of the atmosphere as the dry desert air or the neon glow at night.

And so it can be in motorsports, where events occasionally hinge on the whims of an engine cylinder, that piece of debris in the racing groove, or things that go bump in the car. Luck is as much a part of racing as the Sunoco signs on either end of pit road, sometimes as much a determining factor as a driver's skill behind the wheel. Some don't believe it in, preferring the much more rational notion that everything has a cause, likely rooted in human error. Yet the prospect of luck raises its head every time ignition switches are flipped.

From a NASCAR perspective, luck has become embedded in the lore. The sport's history is rife with tales of tires, engines or other circumstances gone awry that conspired to keep a car out of Victory Lane. There is no kind of luck but bad luck, some will tell you, and in NASCAR that often seems the case. So to borrow a Vegas phrase on this race weekend of showgirls and slot machines, here are NASCAR's top 10 bad beats.