Austin Dillon in his own words on Daytona crash.
Austin Dillon crashed in the final lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, muting Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s victory.
Engines were strewn about the field, sparks flew all over, and fires broke out in some cars. But like Dillon, no drivers sustained any major injuries. One spectator in the Daytona, Florida crowd was reportedly treated at a hospital but has already been released.
The wreck occurred around 3 a.m. ET after a rain delay and seconds after Dale Earnhardt Jr. crossed the finish line.
“I’m shocked that Austin Dillon is even alive from what he went through,” driver Jimmie Johnson said. “It was just a frightening moment. I saw it in the mirror and, man, I expected the worst when I came back around.”
Dillon’s No. 3 car went airborne and into the fence, tearing part of it down, flipped and landed on its roof. He did suffer a bruised tailbone and forearm, but Dillon got out of the wreck under his own power and waved to fans to signal he was ok.
Altogether, 13 people sustained an injury, though only four were treated by medics at the track and eight declined treatment, Daytona president Joie Chitwood said.
Some have called the incident “The Big One,” a term used to describe a wreck so awful it looks like “a mushroom cloud,” according to TheBigLead.com. NASCAR uses restrictor plates on cars to limit how fast a driver can go, and in turn make the races safer. However, one of the results is a tight pack of cars bunched together at blazing speeds and one slipup can result in the crash seen below.