NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece has been cleared to race this weekend at Darlington after being involved in a violent accident with five laps to go in Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400. Preece received medical clearance to return to racing after flipping nearly a dozen times down the end of the back straightaway at Daytona.
After an errant bump draft spun him across the nose of Chase Briscoe’s car and into the Daytona International Speedway infield, Preece’s car went airborne in the infield road course section of the track and then flipped 10 times in total with his car launching into the air through high velocity rolls through the grass.
After being attended to by the AMR Safety Team, Preece was able to climb out of his car before lying down on a stretcher, and he was then transported to the track’s infield care center. Following the conclusion of the race, Preece was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation before being released on Sunday morning.
“Everything’s good, I feel great. No concussion and I’m ready to get out there and go race,” Preece told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “That just goes to show the amount of work that NASCAR’s really been doing to keep improving this racecar. And obviously them having that car at the R&D Center, they’re gonna look (it) over and continue to work to make it even safer.
“I’m not downplaying the wreck by any means, because it was certainly, probably the biggest wreck I’ve ever taken in my career. But I’m sitting here, I’m talking to you guys right now. There’s nothing stopping me from racing this weekend, and I’m really ready to get to Darlington.”
Preece’s accident officially eliminated him from the NASCAR playoffs, as he faced a must-win scenario in the regular season finale at Daytona after a difficult 2023 season. A few laps before his accident, Preece had been running third and made his move to the inside line, but he ended up dropping to the back of the lead pack after being put in the middle lane with no drafting help.
Preece entered the regular season finale 24th in the Cup Series standings with a best finish of fifth last month at Richmond.