Is This The Worst Crash In NASCAR History?

Posted by: Jeremy Patterson on 11/17/2021

There have been countless terrible crashes in NASCAR history that have left onlookers and TV audiences holding their breath, but perhaps none has looked more devastating than this awful incident that scared everybody on the property at Daytona International Speedway back in 2015.

As the tightly-bunched field roared through the tri-oval near the end of the race, a chain-reaction style pileup began just behind the leaders. These types of crashes happen often at superspeedway events where the cars run restrictor plates that keep the cars bunched up for much of the race, so initially the reaction was little more than “… here we go again.”

However, just moments after the spinning, sliding and fender-crunching began, the #3 of Austin Dillon caught air and quite literally flew up and over the cars beside him and into the reinforced catch fence that lines the track. There are several slow motion replays that show just how insane and terrifying this crash really was, as the car slammed into the fence and was then tossed back onto the track.

To make matters worse, one of the other cars that was caught up in the melee slammed into Dillon’s car at a high rate of speed after it came to rest on the lower skirt of the track. Dillon’s crew and the NASCAR safety team rushed to the pile of mangled metal that was once the #3 car and began frantically working to extract Austin from the car.

In the moments following the crash, the silence on the radio is deafening as the crew tries to get a response from Dillon, but have no luck. However, looking at the car, there is a very real chance he was trying to reply but los contact due to damage to the radio hardware being destroyed.

Finally, in one of the more implausible moments in the history of motorsports crashes, Dillon not only exits the car under his own power, but stands and waves to the crowd, looking quite literally as if he was completely uninjured. After being checked out by the on-site physician, Dillon was released with a bruised tailbone and forearm. Thirteen fans from the stands were checked out, and one was transported to a local hospital with injuries, but luckily everybody survived the crash.

TBT: Austin Dillon Flies Into Catch Fence, Climbs Out And Salutes Crowd

Every time we head to Daytona International Speedway, we think about the tremendous advances NASCAR has made to improve driver safety.Case in point, Austin Dillon's horrifying crash into the catch fence in 2015. #TBT

Posted by NASCAR on NBC on Thursday, July 5, 2018