Austin Dillon walked away from one of the biggest crashes in NASCAR Sprint Cup history at Daytona on Monday morning, and said such a huge wreck was “bound to happen”.
Dillon’s #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet was torn to pieces as it hit the catchfencing nose-first while on its side at about 200mph. As the crash happened just after the finish line, Dillon was classified seventh.
Although his engine and gearbox was torn away in the violent impact, Dillon escaped from his wrecked car unscathed.
"I am just going to be really sore," he said. "It got my tailbone pretty good and my arm. Should be fine, just go ice it up and get ready for Kentucky.
"But just thank the good Lord for taking care of me and for what NASCAR has done to make the sport this much safer."
"I thought it was all over"
Dillon explained his accident as a "wicked ride" – which started after Denny Hamlin (11) touched Kevin Harvick (4), and Dillon’s car appeared to get launched over Jeff Gordon (24). After his car came to rest on the infield grass, it was hit again by Brad Keselowski (2).
"The 11 got turned by the 4 across the start/finish line and I thought the race was going to be over right there," he said. "We were almost there and I was just pushing the 24 and the next thing I knew was that I was looking at my roof for a long time.
"I thought it was all over when I was sliding there and the 2 came in and really got me. So it was a wicked ride but thank the good Lord above for taking care of me.
"But I just think the next thing is that we are going to have to make this racing even more safe. We are running 200 mph and pushing each other around out there and it's just bound to happen.
"It definitely is a video game. With three to go you are just going to push somebody until the end of the race. It's wreckers or checkers.
"It's like Talladega Nights out there. So it takes a lot of confidence and just staying into the gas is tough. It is a tough sport and it's what racing is about and it is why NASCAR has been here for so long."