Daytona Makes Safety Improvements After Terrifying Crash in August Cup Race

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Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL — December 12, 2023

Last August, during the Coke Zero Sugar 400, Ryan Preece experienced one of the most horrific accidents ever seen at Daytona International Speedway.

Remarkably, he climbed out of the car and was taken to the hospital for evaluation. Most people would consider themselves lucky to be alive. Preece posted on social media, “If you want to be a race car driver, you better be tough… I’m coming back.”

The following week at Darlington, Preece was back in his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang to open the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

Backstretch Grass

The accident occurred on the backstretch of the 2.5-mile oval, on a portion of the track known as “the bus stop.” The area is a chicane that is used as a part of the Daytona International Speedway road course.

Transitioning from pavement to grass caused Preece’s car to go airborne. As airflow over the body was disrupted, the car bounced and began a series of barrel rolls.

Photo Credit: Don Howard / AP

To prevent a similar occurrence in the future, NASCAR and DIS paved the grass section.