This Weird Indy 500 Wheel Fire Could Only Happen in 2020

When have you ever seen something like this?

The Indianapolis 500 is always held on Memorial Day weekend—it’s tradition. Of course, that isn’t the case this year as the race was delayed due to COVID-19. That means the Greatest Spectacle in Racing is taking place in summer rather than the spring, and it was certainly warmer when James Davison’s No. 51 Honda had its right front wheel burst into a ball of fire on lap five. 

Davison made contact with a SAFER barrier during the opening laps. Soon afterward, the right front tire burst into flames, throwing the first caution flag of the race. Davison safely exited the car, but not before he limped it around the track like a flaming chariot that hopefully isn’t foreshadowing what’s yet to come in 2020.

According to Davison, the brakes heated up until they inevitably combusted, exploding the front tire. The car was still smoking while it was being lifted onto a flatbed truck, but only after it put on a light show with vibrant green and orange flames. This was, understandably, the end of the 2020 Indy 500 for car 51 and Davison, which is a real disappointment considering this happened so early in the race. In an interview after the ordeal, Davison summed up the bizarre incident with a line most of us could take to heart, “It’s still 2020.” 

2020 continues to up the ante on the ridiculous. 

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