DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ryan Preece stated on social media that “I’m coming back” after a savage crash during Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
Stewart-Haas Racing issued a statement at 2:20 a.m. ET Sunday that Preece would be kept overnight at Halifax Health Medical Center for continued observation. He was awake, alert and mobile. The team stated he had been communicating with family and friends. Preece is to undergo another evaluation later Sunday morning. An update is expected to be provided Sunday afternoon.
Preece wrote on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter: “If you want to be a race car driver, you better be tough. Dammit. … I’m coming back.”
Preece’s car rolled more than 10 times after it was hit from behind by Erik Jones’ car on Lap 156 of the 163-lap race. Preece’s car veered left and hit teammate Chase Briscoe’s car. That contact turned Preece’s car sideways as it slid through the Turn 3 grass. When Preece’s car went over a patched portion, air got underneath the car and lifted it, beginning a vicious roll.
“This is just violent,” NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton said of Preece’s crash during the NBC broadcast. “Look at this car. That is just amazing that something that weighs over 3,500 pounds can get in the air like that.”
Chris Buescher won the the regular-season finale. Preece finished 31st.
“Ryan is a good friend of mine,” Buescher said. “While we were in Victory Lane, we got word that he’s at the hospital, that they’re running through a lot of stuff and that he’s doing well. That’s good to hear.”
Buescher said he had not yet watched a replay of Preece’s crash but understands how jarring such rollovers can be. His car rolled over in last year’s Coca-Cola 600.
“It just beats you up,” Buescher said of what a rollover crash can be like. “… Appreciative of how safe our race cars are. I think as an industry that sometimes we forget it’s dangerous still. That can certainly lead to some of our wilder moments. It’s a dangerous sport. We know that getting in. Sometime we push it a little too far in the back of our minds. … I know (Preece’s) crash was jarring just from the little bit (of video he’s seen of the incident).”
NASCAR stated that it would take Preece’s car back to the R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further inspection.
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