Ryan Preece set for return at Darlington after Daytona crash

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DARLINGTON, S.C. — Ryan Preece had a message to ship, irrespective of how dangerous his eyes sorted his scary crash at Daytona final week.

“It is OK to not race,” the Stewart Haas Racing driver mentioned at Darlington on Saturday. “Nevertheless it’s OK to race, and I believe that is what must be mentioned.”

Preece took questions publicly for the primary time since his horrifying accident, the place he went airborne and flipped over no less than 10 occasions earlier than coming to relaxation.

Preece bought out of the automobile on his personal energy. He spent the evening on the hospital and earlier than midnight, was suggesting to anybody who would pay attention that he felt good and was able to go dwelling.

Preece, who was cleared to drive within the Southern 500 at Darlington on Sunday evening, will not be sore from the crash. His eyes are simply bloodshot and bruised.

“If I had complications or blurry imaginative and prescient or something like that that I felt I used to be endangering myself or anyone else right here, I would not be racing,” Preece mentioned behind his No. 41 hauler. “I’ve a household that I’ve to fret about as effectively. That is my job, that is what I need to do and I really feel fully wonderful.”

That is outstanding given what Preece, 32, endured per week in the past.

He was in a line close to Daytona’s exterior wall when he was bumped by Erik Jones and turned down into teammate Chase Briscoe. Preece quickly lifted off the bottom and started to flip over the grassy space on the backstretch.

Preece thought he may’ve checked up a bit earlier than his wild journey.

“I’ve seen different interviews from drivers previously that as you get sideways and as you go within the air, it is will get actual quiet,” he mentioned. “After experiencing that, that is 100% true. Past that, all the things’s taking place so quick, you are simply flipping by way of the air. Till that journey stops, all you are serious about is simply making an attempt to comprise your self.

“You tense up and also you hope you are going to be OK,” he continued. “Which clearly I’m.”

NASCAR has mentioned the automobile’s security enhancements helped hold Preece from extra critical hurt. The group will proceed to research causes, together with the opportunity of paving over some grass areas to maintain automobiles grounded.

Playoff factors chief William Byron mentioned Preece’s accident was one thing drivers hadn’t seen a lot lately. Byron, like all drivers, was glad Preece got here away in good situation and good spirits, indicators that questions of safety within the second 12 months of the Subsequent Gen automobile are enhancing.

“We have made progress, however some components of that crash that undoubtedly might’ve been higher,” Byron mentioned.

Preece thanked security personnel at Daytona and at Halifax Well being Medical Heart for his or her fast response and care he obtained.

The expertise hasn’t modified Preece’s opinion of what it takes to succeed.

“That is what we’re presupposed to be, we’re presupposed to be powerful,” Preece mentioned. “And it is OK to be powerful, it is OK to do these issues. I really feel good.”

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