During a pit stop towards the end of the race, Meira was given an ambiguous hand signal from one of the pit crew, which looked for all intents and purposes like a go, which he proceeded to do. Problem was the fuel probe was still attached and sprayed ethanol all over the car, resulting in an instant fireball. Unbelievably, after the safety and pit crews put the fire out, Meira returned to the race and managed to stay on the lead lap. Keep in mind, this is right at the end of the race, his cockpit is now full of water, and if any of the electronics get wet it could be lights out.
After Meira's incredibly ballsy return to the field, he and Raphael Matos got tangled up in turn one with only 27 laps remaining. Meira hit the wall hard and obliterated the front end, then through the magic of open-wheel contact, Meira ended up on his side, backwards, sliding down the retaining wall for about a quarter mile. Emergency workers gingerly removed him from the wreck and took him to the hospital on complaints of back pain. Turns out he broke two vertebra and will probably be out on rehab for the rest of the season.
He might not have taken home the Borg Warner trophy this year, but we feel he should be recognized for outstanding accomplishments in being a badass. Not too many drivers would have returned to the field after being on fire, and then to be involved in one of the most unique accidents we've ever seen only adds to the mystique.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Bill Friel, Indy500.com