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NASCAR Cup Daytona II

Violent airborne wreck sends Ryan Preece to the hospital

Ryan Preece remained hospitalized Saturday night following a horrific wreck near the end of NASCAR Cup Series regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway.

As the field exited Turn 2 on lap 156 of the scheduled 160-lap race, the No. 43 Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet of Erik Jones appeared to turn Preece’s No. 41 Ford, which darted across the track and collected the No. 14 Ford of his team-mate Chase Briscoe.

As Preece slid from the asphalt onto the grass on the backstretch, the car went airborne and eventually flipped nearly a dozen times before coming to a violent stop on its wheels. 

Several safety crews descended on the scene and workers spent several minutes assisting Preece both from the driver and passenger sides of the car.

Preece eventually emerged from the car and stood alongside it for a moment before being helped onto a stretcher. He was taken by ambulance to the infield care center.

The wreck sent the race into a two-lap overtime and shortly after Chris Buescher claimed the win ahead of team-mate Brad Keselowski. Preece was later transported by ambulance to the nearby Halifax Medical Center for further evaluation.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s vice president of competition, Greg Zipadelli, told reporters on the scene that Preece was “alert but shaken up” before being taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

Saturday night’s race was Preece’s final chance to qualify for the 2023 playoffs. He has had a difficult first season at SHR, with just one top-10 finish. The one bright spot was a pole at Martinsville Speedway in May.

Preece, 32, is a veteran of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He won the series championship in 2013 and has 25 career victories. He owns a pair of victories in both the Xfinity and Truck series and one win in ARCA West.

Latest updates

The team released the following statement just after 2 a.m. EST, stating that Preece will be held overnight.

"NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece will remain overnight at Halifax Mental Center for continued observation. The driver of the No. 41 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing is awake, alert and mobile and has been communicating with family and friends. Preece will undergo another evaluation by medical personnel later this morning. An update will be provided in the afternoon."

Around 11 a.m. EST, SHR revealed that Preece has been released from the hospital, saying that he was "discharged from Halifax Health Medical Center earlier this morning following his accident last night in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The driver of the No. 41 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing is on his way home to North Carolina."

Preece has also posted the following message on social media:

 

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