I’m OK: Dillon
NASCAR safety back in spotlight after scary Daytona crash
Riding bumper-to-bumper at nearly 200 mph, Austin Dillon was smack in the middle of a pack of cars headed to the checkered flag when he was suddenly sent on the ride of his life.
A wreck that began three rows ahead of him sent cars spinning all over the track. When one turned into him, the force flipped his car up and over two others. Dillon sailed nearly upside down into the Daytona International Speedway catchfence with such a hard hit that it nearly brought his 3,500-pound car to a sudden stop.
The fence acted like a slingshot, sending the sheared race car back onto the track, where it landed on its roof and was hit again while the engine block smouldered nearby. Left behind were a handful of fans who received only minor injuries from the debris, and a gaping hole in the fence, the mesh torn away. And Dillon? Nearly everyone in NASCAR feared the worst looking at what remained of his car. Instead, he was helped out by rival crews and he gave the “I’m OK” two-handed wave used by late bullrider Frost Lane to the stunned crowd.
“It happened so quick,” said Dillon. “You’re just holding on and praying that you get through it, get to race again,” he said. “I had just got done stopping and I had crew members everywhere. I thought that was really special and cool. It comforted me pretty quick. And then I just wanted to get out of there and let the fans know that I was OK, let my parents and grandparents know that I was all right.”
Austin Dillon goes airborne Monday.