There was drama for a NASCAR team ahead of a race at the Kansas Motor Speedway. One of the haulers, carrying one of the cars, went off the road and crashed heavily. As it turns out, the driver had a medical emergency and the big rig wound up totalled at the bottom of a 60-foot embankment.
Meanwhile, the JTG Daugherty Racing had a busy Friday morning putting an engine into a backup car for Ryan Preece. As it turned out, its team transporter caught fire the previous day. Luckily, the drivers in the hauler were uninjured, though the team was unsure what could be salvaged of the cars.
Hendrick Motorsports loaned one of its test haulers to the NASCAR Cup Series team, and it was parked near the back side of the garage area to prepare for Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway.
“Rookie stripes are on and it’s official. I’m very grateful for the safety of our truck drivers, and the hard work everyone has put in this week to get on track today,” Preece said in a tweet.
Less than 12 hours before the JTG fire, the transporter bringing Kaulig Racing’s cars to Kansas for Saturday’s Xfinity race went off a road in North Carolina. The hauler crashed through the guardrail, down an embankment and the trailer overturned before coming to a stop in a wooded area.
The North Carolina highway patrol said the crash, which occurred near Asheville, happened when driver Barry Sheppard had “some kind of medical issue.” Co-driver Barry Collins attempted to right the truck before it ran off the side of the road and down the embankment. Both drivers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and later released.
“We haven’t assessed everything so I don’t know what we can salvage or can’t salvage,” Kaulig Racing president Chris Rice said. “Our main concern is our driver is OK.”
The NASCAR team, fielding the No. 10 entry for Ross Chastain, said it would be using a backup car it had been preparing for Texas. All they managed to get out of the totaled truck were his fire suit and helmet because the rest of the wreckage was taken to an impound lot.
“If you work for Matt Kaulig, it’s never a consideration of not bringing a car to the race track,” Rice said. “Our backup car is a car that Richard Childress Racing helped us with. But nothing in that trailer was able to come here besides the suit and his helmet.”