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USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters

Tyler Reddick’s tire mishap on the pit road entrance led to a stage 2 restart at last weekend’s Ally 400 Cup Series event. As the second stage commenced post the restart, Ryan Blaney suffered a massive wreck, just eight laps after Reddick’s unfortunate incident. Slamming head-on into the inside wall, Blaney recalled the incident as the “hardest hit” he had ever experienced, slamming the lack of safety barriers in the inside wall. 

Keeping driver safety in mind, NASCAR had taken massive steps, installing the new SAFER barriers throughout its various circuits. What can only be termed as sheer bad luck, Blaney’s crash occurred in the one spot where the SAFER barriers were absent. With NASCAR looking further into the incident, NASCAR’s Senior VP of Competition has come forward, agreeing with Blaney’s thoughts on the incident.

“I echo Ryan’s thoughts”: Elton Sawyer speaks on Ryan Blaney’s crash

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Brad Keselowski’s slow restart triggered a stack-up sending Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney into a spin. While Busch recovered, Blaney wasn’t as lucky. Sliding across the grass, the #12 Mustang hit the inside wall head-on, resulting in race-ending damage. With race day ending early for Blaney, a post-race interview with NBC saw the #12 Team Penske driver slamming the lack of a safety barrier in the inside wall. “I don’t know why there’s no SAFER barrier there. That’s pretty ridiculous, honestly. Hardest hit I’ve ever had in my life. Happy to be all right, but it s*cks for the Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Stinks to go home early,” said Blaney.

NASCAR’s Senior VP of Competition Elton Sawyer recently spoke on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Sawyer said that the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barriers require a span of 100 feet to be installed. With the inside wall having a shorter length, the SAFER barrier couldn’t be installed. Agreeing with Blaney’s view, the Senior VP further said there should have been some sort of safety net, be it sand barrels or tire barriers to reduce impact damage. 

“I echo Ryan’s thoughts. It’s unacceptable, I’ll start there. Why it wasn’t protected? I don’t have a great answer for you. There’s some area’s that basically are not designed, or not positioned around the facility where it’s conducive to put SAFER,” Sawyer said.

He further added, “And in this case, just the way SAFERs are designed, what I’ve been told is you need about a 100-foot span to be able to use SAFER. With that being said, there’s other options, whether it be sand barrels, whether that be tire barriers. Something should have been there.”

Watch This Story: Kyle Busch Dissects Every Flaw In NASCAR’s Big Venture Coming Next Week

After the nasty crash in Nashville, Ryan Blaney recently posted on Twitter, thanking everyone for the love and support he received over the weekend. Fans filled up the comments section expressing their relief as the Team Penske driver escaped without any injuries.

Fans express their relief as Ryan Blaney shares a thankful message

Sharing a picture containing his words from the post-race Nashville interview, Blaney wrote, “Huge thanks to everyone for the well wishes and looking forward to getting back at it next week.”

Responding to Blaney’s post, fans expressed their relief commenting, “I’m so glad that you’re alright” and “So glad you’re ok, Ryan! Be gentle with yourself this week!” Here are some more comments from fans.

“Glad you were ok Ryan… that was a hard impact… always glad to see the window nets come down buddy. Best of luck in Chi-town”

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“Ryan, I was so scared for you. So glad you are ok.”

“Hell of a hit Ryan, glad you are OK !”

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Read More: Ryan Blaney Drops a 6-Word Reality Check on the High Stakes of NASCAR’s Chicago Endeavor

It was a relief to see Ryan Blaney walk away unharmed from the massive crash. Currently sitting 8th in the Championship standings, will the Team Penske driver secure the win at Chicago?