UPDATE: A senior NASCAR official calls it “unacceptable” that the concrete wall Ryan Blaney hit Sunday at Nashville Superspeedway was not protected by any energy-absorbing material and says the sanctioning body will address the situation.
NASCAR also will examine all other series tracks for exposed walls that need a SAFER barrier or some other type of energy-absorbing barrier.
Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, made the comments Tuesday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
— NBC Sports —
ORIGINAL POST 6-25-2023: RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang (Incident on Lap 148 on Frontstretch) – ARE YOU OK? “Yeah, I feel better now. It’s a shame, ending our night early. I thought we actually, finally got decent air at the start of the second stage. I don’t really know what happened. Someone checked up on the restart I guess. I kind of checked up, got hit from behind. I didn’t know if they were wrecking, and I just couldn’t get it straightened out. When I got out of the grass, I thought I was going to come back around, and that I’d be ok. Just never got back right. I don’t know why there’s no safer barrier there. That’s pretty ridiculous, honestly. Hardest hit I’ve ever had in my life. Happy to be all right, but it sucks for the Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Stinks to go home early.”
WHAT IS IT LIKE WHEN YOU DO NOT HAVE CONTROL OF THE CAR DURING AN INCIDENT? “I honestly thought I was going to be fine. I really thought I was going to be ok once I got past the grass, back on the asphalt. I thought I could kind of swing back around when I got off the brake. Just never did. It was just at that weird angle. I thought I could get back on the straight until the last second — just never came back.”
— Ford Performance —
AND: NASCAR statement on Blaney’s crash: “NASCAR safety engineers work closely with safety experts on the implementation of barriers around the track. As we do following every race weekend, we will evaluate all available data and make any necessary improvements.”