Joey Logano and Danica Patrick walked away from a fiery crash at Kansas speedway largely in thanks to their safety equipment. Check out Mike Aguilar’s original article on how NASCAR’s Safety Innovations Continues To Save Lives.
Martin Truex Jr. just outlasted Brad Keselowski and Pole Winner Ryan Blaney to take home the checkered flag at the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway this past Saturday. Rookie Erik Jones is recovering from the dizziness his numerous spins caused. And Danica Patrick, Joey Logano, and Aric Almirola are recovering emotionally, and in Aric’s case physically, from the horrendous wreck, they were involved in towards the end of Saturday’s race.
Logano’s car suffered a catastrophic failure of something on the right side (probably an exploded brake rotor) causing his car to take an immediate hard left into Danica’s right rear quarter panel, turning her hard right into the outside fence in Turn 1, engulfing her car in a shower of sparks. Joey’s car climbed back up the track and hooked back up with Danica’s as it slid along the wall.
Aric had committed to the outside in what looked like an attempt to clear the wreck as it slid down the track. However, the cars didn’t slide down the track and Almirola, all four wheels locked up braking, plowed almost straight head-on into Joey’s car. The impact caused all three cars to be engulfed in a wall of flames and the rear-end of Aric’s car was catapulted at least six feet in the air.
Danica and Joey both walked away from the wreck unharmed. Although he immediately lowered his window net to let track safety workers he was OK, he had to be cut out of his car. Word is the safety cage was deformed to the extent that Aric couldn’t free himself from the wreck.
After safety workers cut the top off his car, they pulled him out on a backboard. We found out at the end of the race that he had been taken to an area hospital, awake and alert, for “observation.” Turns out that the T5 vertebrae in the middle of his back suffered a compression fracture in the wreck.
The good news out of Saturday’s wreck? Joey and Aric would almost certainly have experienced more serious injuries as little as five years ago. As it is, although he may miss the rest of the 2017 season, he will most likely fully recover from his injury and return to racing in time for next year’s season opener.
Thank you NASCAR for continually innovating when it comes to safety. Keep up the good work. It’s saving lives.