Huge Pikes Peak Crash with Old Smokey F1 Truck

Old Smokey F1, a 1949 Ford Pickup Truck, plunged into the canyon during the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. The 1,200 hp diesel truck, which we saw here in better times, crashed at Lightning Corner and came to a stop more than 200 meters below in the ravine. Fortunately, driver and owner Scott Birdsall was able to get out unharmed, but Old Smokey F1 is a total loss.

“Coming into lightning corner, I lifted to neutral throttle, went to set into the corner with the brakes, and the pedal instantly went to the floor with zero effort. I frantically pumped the brakes, and you can hear the throttle change slightly as I do this because the brake pedal was so far down on the floor, my boot cut suit leg was catching the throttle. I knew there was way too much momentum (you can see this in the first clip) to make the corner, so I tried to hook the ditch, and that was too aggressive as it just shot the truck in the air and went off. Probably a good thing, as the farther you get around the corner, the steeper and rockier it gets. Really an no-win situation all the way around, and my worst nightmare as a Pikes Peak racer has always been this exact scenario. My cage, Still FIA helmet, and Sabelt seat and belts were the reason I was able to walk away completely unhurt. Huge thank you to the Pikes Peak safety crew for being on the scene so quickly, and for being total pros.

First impact was 175 feet down the embankment, and the truck and I came to rest 714 feet down on the side. The truck is too far gone to fix for racing again, but I may attempt to resurrect it to a street truck. For now, Rest In Peace Old Smokey F1.”

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