You never need a good reason to get lost on YouTube, watching plenty of videos about subjects you love—and, if you’re like us, looking at the clock three hours later and realizing you somehow spiraled your way from a 10-minute session into hours of videos about things you never knew you found interesting. (Gotta love that “related” videos feed.)
In terms of racing videos, it’s the time of year when we need to scratch the itch, so we spent some time this past weekend looking at some of our favorite motorsports moments. We present a selection of them to you here; it’s a brief list, because we know if you click our picks, you’ll automatically find many more fascinating racing videos to watch, too. Have some of your own you’d like us to share with your fellow gearheads in a follow-up story? Send your picks to [email protected].
1989 Indianapolis 500
There are plenty of great, memorable Indianapolis 500s to watch again, so today we’ll recommend one—the ’89 edition—that just happened to pop up on our YouTube-suggested best racing videos feed. Don’t want to watch the entire three-and-a-half hours? Skip ahead to the 2-hour, 45-minute mark, sit back, and watch the nerve-wracking duel for the win between in-their-primes Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi. This is the kind of action that makes Indy unforgettable, and winning it a legend.
Some of F1’s Most Unusual Crashes
Honestly, we’d forgotten some of these gems, but once you see them again, you’ll find yourself remembering them like they occurred yesterday. Haven’t seen them before, or don’t follow F1 on the regular, or even at all? It doesn’t matter, as we’ll wager at least a few of the incidents featured in these racing videos will have you laughing.
Ayrton Senna at Monaco
The late three-time F1 champion was a master of the Monaco Grand Prix, one of the sport’s most famous and challenging races. More than once, his speed around the impossibly tight street circuit put his rivals to shame—but as much as that’s a reason to watch this footage, another good one is to remind yourself of just how physical it is to drive a race car on the ragged edge—something not always so apparent when you watch onboard footage from modern cars. This particular clip comes courtesy of the acclaimed “Senna” documentary, but it’s just to whet your appetite; search YouTube for “Senna Monaco onboard” and set off down yet another mesmerizing racing videos rabbit hole.
1998 Daytona 500
Nineteen years have passed since Dale Earnhardt died at the end of NASCAR’s season-opening Daytona 500. Just three years prior, The Intimidator finally won NASCAR’s biggest race for the first and only time. The unprecedented universal reception and respect he received afterward from Cup Series rivals and competitors as he drove toward Victory Lane still brings a smile, and goosebumps.
Corvette Racing’s First IMSA Win
Corvette Racing is on its third decade of competition, with more than 100 wins between its entries in IMSA and at Le Mans. In other words, at this point you might take its existence and success for granted, as indeed it is now an American racing institution. But considering it debuted in 1999, it really hasn’t existed for that long in the grand scheme of things. Even so, its first-ever win, on September 2, 2000, seems like a lifetime ago, and we found ourselves going back to watch it.
Admittedly, we’re somewhat biased on this one: One of the drivers who brought home the historic win, in 110-plus-degree temperatures at Texas Motor Speedway as other drivers succumbed to heat exhaustion, was Automobile contributor Andy Pilgrim. When it comes to sports institutions and racing videos, though, it’s always worth going back from time to time to see how it all began. And even if you don’t care about all of that, there’s plenty of other nostalgic sports car action to enjoy, including the heyday of Audi’s R8 Le Mans Prototype.