SHOCKING: NASCAR Driver Retires Mid-Race Amid Health Reasons

Published 09/07/2021, 3:10 AM EDT
RICHMOND, VA – SEPTEMBER 05: Cody Ware, driver of the #23 RaceTrac Convenience Stores Chevrolet, and Josh Reaume, driver of the #87 Cry of the Outcast Ford, talk on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 5, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)


During the NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington, things took a turn for the dangerous. As it turned out, Cody Ware was forced to retire from the race through no fault of his own. Reports emerged that the driver was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning and was close to blacking out.

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Obviously, this was hugely dangerous, so he bailed out as quickly as he could and headed to the medical center. Luckily, they cleared him and gave him a clean bill of health. Apparently, Ware and teammate James Davison collided, and the resulting crush panel damage lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

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It is also worth mentioning that this is not the first time Cody Ware suffered from this. Back in 2019, Ware was forced to retire after 64 laps during the Cup Series race at the Sonoma Raceway. Earlier that year in Dover, the same thing happened to Denny Hamlin. Once again, the culprit was a broken crush panel, and he got out as soon as he could.

Cody Ware was lucky to not have it affect his career

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For obvious reasons, carbon monoxide poisoning is incredibly dangerous. In fact, it ended the career of Rick Mast in 2002. Apparently, Mast reported falling ill suddenly, losing weight, and had to miss races to undergo medical tests. Later on, doctors discovered evidence of carbon monoxide poisoning and he was forced to retire.

Jul 18, 2021; Loudon, New Hampshire, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) leads the field during the start of the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of this, he sought to prevent this from happening again, this time to another driver. Mast spoke to NASCAR president Mike Helton and suggested that teams redesign their cars’ air intake systems. The idea over here is that less exhaust fumes will waft into drivers’ helmets.

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Unfortunately, it does not look like it may be enough, considering what has happened to Cody Ware on Sunday. Hopefully, he will not have to suffer through this again. Additionally, he will be hoping that this issue will not crop up with the Next Gen cars in 2022.

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Dhruv George

12003 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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