Jamie McMurray walked away uninjured after barrel-rolling down the Talladega Superspeedway backstretch in final practice.
The No. 1 Chevrolet suffered a left-rear tire failure and spun to the left while drafting in a pack of cars. Being hit in the left-side door by Ryan Newman sent him airborne and he barrel-rolled multiple times – even hitting the inside catch fence – before coming to rest. He climbed from the car on under his own power.
“It goes really slow. When I realized I was going to flip, I actually shut my eyes because I was like, ‘I don’t want to see what’s getting ready to happen,'” McMurray said after leaving the care center.
“It seemed like forever. I opened my eyes a couple of times and I didn’t know if I was going up or down or where it’s going to hit next. A couple times I thought it was going to stop and it kept going.”
McMurray said he was “thankful” that his head did not hurt and credited the snugness and protective measures of the driver cockpit.
Newman, Ty Dillon and Daniel Suarez also suffered damage in the accident. All four drivers will be in backup cars for the GEICO 500.
“The 1 cut a tire, he turned sideways and we flipped him over,” said Newman. “It’s unnecessary and needs to be addressed and I’ll leave it at that.”
Newman has long been a proponent of making restrictor-plate racing safer, specifically when it comes to keeping the cars grounded. When told by a reporter NASCAR continues to work on making that happened, Newman sharply replied, “No they don’t.
“They work on it, but we still haven’t fixed it,” Newman said of NASCAR.
Asked for a solution, Newman said, “slow the cars down. Never seen a car get airborne sitting in the garage. Never once. The closer to zero you are, the less likely you are to get airborne. Simple as that.”