It was a hard crash that Ryan Blaney never saw coming. The driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford was suddenly turned to the right and head-on into the wall on the final lap of stage two during last Saturday's race at Daytona.
Blaney, who is a well-established super speedway racer with four wins total on the drafting tracks, looked to be in position for another strong night. That wasn't the case, as he was sent head-on into the wall after Ty Gibbs was turned sideways into Blaney's car by Christopher Bell.
Luckily NASCAR's continued advancement of safer barriers was in use, as many in the NASCAR fan base, and the sport as a whole thought they were re-watching something terrible that happened 22 years ago.
Blaney's crash was a harsh reminder of the crash in the 2001 Daytona 500 that claimed the life of seven-time Cup series champion Dale Earnhardt Sr. No one will ever forget that day and senior NASCAR writer for sportscasting.com Kyle Dalton immediately was taken back to the memories of that horrible day while watching Blaney's wreck.
He shared a post on X comparing the videos of the two crashes, and they are very similar.
— Kyle Dalton (@kdsportswriter) August 28, 2023
Both wrecks shared plenty of similarities as both were equally violent. In Blaney's case, the advancement in safety made by NASCAR since the day Earnhardt died has been important.
Blaney brought up the importance of both old and new safety measures following his visit to the infield care center when he was interviewed by Fox Sports' Bob Pockrass. He was thankful everything NASCAR has done to better protect drivers when they are involved in such violet wrecks.
Ryan Blaney was happy for the new front clip design and the SAFER Barrier after getting collected in an accident while leading at Daytona. pic.twitter.com/dSSGKTZP9r
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) August 27, 2023
"It was a big hit. I'm happy it had a SAFER Barrier on it," Blaney said. "Yeah, that was large. Big testament of the new front clips. That would have hurt a lot more if we didn't have the new front clip on it. So that's a positive about that. Still pretty hard."
The safety precautions on these race cars have been huge, as later in the race proved when Ryan Preece's barrel rolled twelve times on the back straightaway grass.
Saturday was a perfect example of still how dangerous the sport is, but it is clear, that NASCAR has done a lot over the years to make sure no drivers lose their lives in such violent crashes.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.