Juan Pablo Montoya's NASCAR Cup debut ended in a ball of flames when his Dodge Charger was tapped from behind on lap 252 of a 267-lap race at the Miami Speedway on Sunday.
The former McLaren Formula One driver climbed out uninjured following a clash with a car driven by veteran Ryan Newman. The Colombian's car crashed into a barrier and burst into flames as the fuel tank exploded before skidding down the track.
Montoya started 29th of the 43 cars in the race. He had raced as high as 13th before initially bumping into Newman's car fivelaps before the crash took place.
"The 12 car [Newman]tapped me in the back, I'm not sure," Montoya told reporters.
"Weproved we could run all day, it's gonna be hard."
Montoya was in 20thplace at the time of the incident.
"What I said to the guys when I signed with [team owner] Chip [Ganassi]was that it won't be easy," said Montoya, who had previously driven in five lower division stock car races.
"Ithink I've been getting better race by race."
AmericanGreg Biffle won the race on Sunday.