NASCAR is taking three cars from Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway to its R&D Center for further inspection this week and one of them is the damaged No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Kyle Larson.
Larson’s car suffered a severe right-side impact on the first overtime restart at Talladega. The third driver in the outside line behind Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain, Larson was collected in the chain reaction when Chastain and Gragson made contact in Turns 1 and 2.
Larson initially spun to the left, onto the apron. But as he fought to regain control, Larson spun to the right and back up the banking into the oncoming path of Ryan Preece. It was a high-speed collision as Preece ran straight into the door of Larson’s car.
“Thankfully, I’m OK, but my car is absolutely destroyed,” Larson said. “The cockpit’s a mess. I’m just thankful that I’m all right and all that. It’s just a bummer. We put ourselves in position once again on a superspeedway, and the results don’t show it. Another wreck not of my doing on a superspeedway. I just hate it, but we’ll keep getting better, and eventually, it’ll have to work out, I would think.”
Larson and Preece were both evaluated and released from the infield care center.
NASCAR will evaluate the damage to Larson’s car this week. Part of the right side of Larson’s car was ripped open near the right-rear wheel, and through the right-side window, it was visible that one of the bars in the door had been damaged.
“That was P1 for (hardest hits) I’ve ever taken in my life,” Preece told reporters after exiting the care center. “I feel like when I wreck, I’m pretty tough, and usually not a lot of stuff you think, ‘Man, that hurt.’ That kind of was somebody poking at me and saying, this is going to nudge you a little bit. Definitely P1 on the hit list for me.”
The impact for Preece was hard enough to knock the visor on his helmet up.
“It knocked a whole lot of things around in that race car,” Preece said. “I took a glance at the 5 from where I hit him, it looked like it killed the center section on his car.”
The other cars taken by NASCAR were the No. 2 of Austin Cindric and the No. 45 of Tyler Reddick.