Mazda MX-5 Cup races get chaotic at the end more often than not, but Sunday's second event at Virginia International Raceway may have a claim as the single most ridiculous ending in professional spec Miata racing history.
Seven cars broke away into a leading pack late, setting up a mad dash to the finish. One of those drivers, Michael Carter, moved from sixth to fifth heading into a major braking zone. Then, in a moment of slapstick perfection, he tapped the rear bumper of the car in fourth under braking. That led the car in fourth to tap the car in third, which in turn caused a similar hit to the car in second and a final hit to the leader. The cars running in third and fourth drove off track, the cars running in first and second spun, and Carter took the lead out of the corner.
Carter would go on to cross the line in first and take the provisional win, but an unsurprising post-race drive-through penalty would knock him off the top spot of the podium. Jared Thomas, who ran sixth heading into the fateful corner, would inherit the win.
Guy in 5th: I’m gonna do what’s called a “pro racing driver move” pic.twitter.com/RUSiId4BOP
— Avery Hage (@AveryHage) August 27, 2023
The replay shows that Carter may have received a bump of his own from Thomas, the car behind him in the braking zone. Whether or not Thomas played a part in the crash, only Carter received a drive-through penalty. Even though the MX-5 Cup is considering a short track oval race, wrecking the four leading cars is still not a legal move.
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