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(WARNING! Crash Footage) Old Smokey Pikes Peak 2023 Crash on Lightning Corner

Among the most treacherous racing courses, the Pikes Peak Hillclimb stands out as a true test of courage. Spanning 12.42 miles, the course boasts an astonishing 156 turns while ascending over 4700 feet in elevation. With a combination of high altitude, unpredictable weather, and narrow, unprotected roads, drivers face the constant risk of disastrous tumbles over the edge whether it be driver error related or via mechanical failures.

In this particular instance, we check in with a unique Ford F1 pickup known as “Old Smokey.” Unlike any other F1 in the world, this remarkable machine is equipped with a monstrous 6.7L diesel engine that delivers an astounding 1400 horsepower. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the extensive custom work that transformed this $225 beater into a full-fledged racing beast.

Unfortunately, during its attempt at conquering Pikes Peak, Old Smokey took a terrifying tumble over the edge. Approaching Lightning corner, driver Scott Birdsall, who miraculously walked away from the incident unharmed, recalls losing all brake pedal response. The sheer stomach-churning nature of this situation is hard to comprehend.

In a frantic search for a way out, Birdsall instinctively aimed to scrub speed by hooking the ditch on the left side of the corner. However, this aggressive move turned out to be a miscalculation, launching the truck into the air, sending it skidding across the course, and ultimately over the edge.

Birdsall attributes his survival to the protective cage, Still FIA helmet, and secure Sabelt seat and belts he was equipped with. This harrowing incident involved an initial impact 175 feet down the embankment, with the truck eventually coming to a rest a staggering 714 feet down the side of the hill.

Reflecting on the aftermath, Birdsall concedes that the truck is beyond repair for future races, but he might consider resurrecting it as a street truck. For now, he bids farewell to Old Smokey F1, saying, “Rest in Peace.”