In the wake of a memorable Daytona 500, Page 2 tracked down the star of Monday night's big event: the jet dryer. During a race caution, Juan Pablo Montoya lost control of his car and smashed into the jet engine mounted on a truck, setting nearly 200 gallons of jet fuel ablaze. And, of course, we instantly heard from the @NASCARJetDryer itself:
OUCH!!!!!WTF— Jett (@NASCARJetDryer) February 28, 2012
We're presuming there's some sort of human behind the account, but they didn't wish to reveal their identity. So Page 2 just decided to discuss the details directly with the apparatus, which goes by the name Jett, and says it's "sentiently challenged" and part of the NASCAR IODP (Inanimate Object Development Program).
Jett conducted an email interview Tuesday morning, after seeing his Twitter following rise from 1,300 fans to more than 3,200.
How long have you been tweeting?
I've been tweeting since last November. Encouraged by @theorangecone (the messiah) and mentored by @theminichad (he who gives life to inanimates).
Yesterday had to be a blessing and a curse. You took center stage with the rain, but then the unthinkable happened. Tell us what your day was like.
I went into the weekend with the enthusiasm that often leads into the Daytona 500 -- rain put us to work. But hey, that's what we do. The incident caught me totally by surprise. I've never had any close calls, and why should we? Drivers show respect and keep clear. Then, without any warning, JPM ran into me, and I was caught totally by surprise. (The truck's driver, Duane Barnes, was taken to a hospital, treated and released.) I'm just glad D-Wayne Barnes is OK. He's a legend on the Jet Dryer circuit.
Have you heard from any concerned drivers?
Juan called me this morning. We're good. He was very apologetic, on the verge of tears. Said something broke and he felt terrible. It was unfortunate but Juan made the call. No hard feelings.
Do you think this notoriety will allow you to surpass the popularity of the Zamboni in sports machinery fandom?
Aldo Zamboni is a pioneer in sports mechanization; to be mentioned alongside him is humbling. I can only hope to aspire to his legacy.*
* Yes, we know the real guy's name is Frank.
Would exploding jet dryers add excitement to other sporting events?
Excitement and drama are always mesmerizing to the viewing public, but risk of danger to athletes and fans is too high. Maybe a Jet Dryer reality show one day.