A General Motors VP will no doubt be heckled at work on Monday after he crashed the pace car on national television before the start of the Detroit Grand Prix.

The price tag on the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 starts at $119,995; let's hope Mark Reuss gets an employee discount. Reuss, Executive Vice President of Product Development at General Motors, was leading the field in the the pace car for the start of the 2nd race of the Detroit Grand Prix on Sunday, June 3, when he spun the tires and crashed into the wall in turn 2.

The incident has been edited out of the official ESPN race recap (corporate courtesy?) but you can see from fan video that the 700 horsepower engine was just too much for this rookie driver to handle. What surprised me was not the white-collar, but the lack of a helmet. The crash was hard enough to deploy the airbag on the Corvette and you can see Reuss and a passenger climb out, thankfully, unharmed.

This is not the first time ever that a pace car has crashed. In fact, professional drivers have made mistakes behind the wheel of the safety car. The irony of a General Motors executive crashing a Chevrolet Corvette in Detroit is delicious.

I can't help but think of the Southwest commercials, "Wanna get away?" and the pit stop scene in the Tom Cruise movie 'Days of Thunder' where he's talking with his crew chief.

  • Crew Chief Harry Hogge: "I want you to go back out there on that track and hit the pace car."
  • Driver Cole Trickle: Hit the pace car?
  • HH: HIT THE PACE CAR.
  • CT: What for?
  • HH: Because you hit every other God d@mn thing out there, I want you to be perfect.

You may dread going back to work on Monday, but at least you're not this guy.

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