copeVeteran NASCAR driver Derrike Cope escaped uninjured Saturday when the front of his car had a bizarre NHRA-like explosion with 24 laps to go during the Xfinity Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International.

He was checked and released from the infield care center, telling NBCSN he lost his brake pedal entering Turn 1 and was limping around the track at a low speed when the hood blew.

"In 35 years of racing, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that transpire before,” the 1990 Daytona 500 winner said. “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.”

 
 

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