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I was working on the page for the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix, and was struck by a thought. There were a lot of retirements in that race, mostly a sum of very hot weather, a terrible track surface, and close proximity of a lot of concrete walls. Which to me are crashes, or, more formally, accidents. But most of my source materials insist that so-and-so always "spun out".

I think of a spin out as a car going off and either getting stuck, or just stalling the engine. And always preceded by an actual spin. The "spinouts" in Dallas were all of the car-getting-off-line-and-hitting-something-solid variety. I still remember the race on TV. The only actual spin in the race involved a driver (Jacques Laffite) who ultimately finished in the points. So the Dallas GP page will have all of the "spinouts" listed as accidents.

I've changed a few other things, like Alain Prost's "flat tire" is now a broken wheel, because he slapped that wall hard, and I bet the tire could have been reused on another wheel. That reminds me of the old joke about the car retiring because of electrical failure. The cylinder exploded, shooting the piston head through the side of the block, taking the alternator with it, thus causing electrical failure. This one is often attributed to a certain Italian team with a horse logo.

Has anyone else thought about this and/or encountered any definitions of said situations?

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