Neil Bonnett went above and beyond to ensure CBS had a memorable telecast of Sunday's DieHard 500 at Talladega, Ala.
As an auto racing commentator for CBS and TBS, Bonnett's job is to provide words that will enhance a telecast. But he did a lot more than provide words for CBS on Sunday.
Bonnett, driving in his first NASCAR race since being badly injured in April, 1990, at Darlington, S.C., was involved in a spectacular crash on Lap 132.
An in-car camera captured all the sights and sounds as Bonnett, who was far off the pace but on the lead lap, flew through the air and slammed into the protective fence in front of the main grandstand. Viewers could hear Bonnett breathing heavily when it was over, after the car he borrowed from race winner Dale Earnhardt landed upright on the track.
The crash caused a 68-minute delay to repair the fence. Meanwhile, CBS went to its delayed coverage of the Tour de France.
When CBS came back to the race a little more than an hour later, Bonnett, who came away with only a bruised right arm, joined Ned Jarrett and Ken Squier in the broadcast booth and, wearing a sling, worked as a commentator through the finish.