While most of the planet was watching the USWNT claim their third World Cup, many probably missed one of the most freak-nasty NASCAR crashes in years.
Dale Earnhardt. Jr. won the rain-delayed Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Sunday night, but did so only milliseconds before a jam-packed grouping of cars racing for the finish line resulted in a crash that sent Austin Dillon’s car upside down and into the catch fence, injuring several spectators.
The crash was so bad several pit crew members from other teams sprinted out to Dillon’s car to make sure he was alive. Fellow race car driver Jimmy Johnson was quoted, saying that he’s “shocked he’s even alive.”
By some miracle, Dillon quickly exited his car, walking away safely and giving a thumbs up to the silenced crowd. He would later be treated for a bruised forearm and tailbone.
Track president Joie Chitwood III confirmed 13 fans were examined and eight declined treatment. Of the five treated, one was transported to a local hospital, treated and released. The other four were treated at the infield care center.
[Dillon on the crash:]
“It was very vicious,” Dillon said of the crash. “It’s twisting you around in there, and the belts are loosening with each hit, so the hits are getting more and more violent. By the fourth hit, you’ve separated enough so that the fourth one is going to hurt more than others. I held on to the steering wheel as hard as I could. I’m sure I’m going to find more bumps and bruises during the week, but right now I feel all right.”
Here’s another scary angle from a fan in the stands:
And what makes this extra spooky? This is the same track Dale Earnhardt Sr. was killed on 14 years ago after slamming into the wall. Fans were also injured at Daytona two years ago when Kyle Larson’s car ripped through the catch fence.
Here’s another look at what was left of Dillon’s car Sunday night.
Photo Credit: Getty