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Derrike Cope on explosion: ‘In 35 years of racing, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that’

Derrike Cope discusses his car's unusual explosion and how he sensed something was wrong.

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Derrike Cope had no answers for what caused his car to explode Saturday during the Zippo 200 at The Glen.

Cope said he lost his brake pedal entering turn 1 and was limping around the track through the inner loop when something seemingly detonated under the hood of his No. 70 Chevrolet.

“In 35 years of racing, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that transpire before,” the 1990 Daytona 500 winner told NBC Sports’ Parker Kligerman after exiting the Watkins Glen International care center without being injured. “We were just trying to survive and get through this (race).

“I lost the brake pedal going into turn 1, and I knew something happened to a piston or whatever so I just went easy down there and started coming to a stop, and the whole thing just blew the hood off. I don’t know really what it was. The shocks were all intact and the tires were up, so I don’t know what exploded.”

NASCAR impounded the car for further study of the incident (video below).