WJHL – Many thought it was the big one. A terrifying crash happened moments after Dale Earnhardt Jr’s finish at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway Sunday. The crash left drivers and fans fearing for Austin Dillon’s life.
His car flipped upside down, crashed into a fence and back on the track.
Beside some bumps and bruises, Dillon is miraculously fine.
Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood said 13 fans were assessed after the wreck. Of them, eight refused treatment, four were treated on site and one was transported in stable condition with an unspecified injury.
He said the catch fence did everything it was intended to do, getting fans at a close distance but also protecting them from a 3500 lb car flying at 190 mph to the extent that only those 13 were assessed at all.
Dale Jr. praised NASCAR as well for their dedication to safety. He also said, “When I got into Victory Lane, I was almost in tears.”
Jimmie Johnson said, “I’m shocked Austin Dillon is still alive. I expected the worst.”
The late Dale Earnhardt won 34 races at Daytona. He was killed in a 2001 crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500.
“I saw everything in the mirror pretty clearly … I just was very scared for whoever that car was. I didn’t care about anything except figuring out who was OK,” Earnhardt said.