No. 3 RCR driver discusses last-lap wreck in Coke Zero 400
On the last lap of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Austin Dillon was involved in a multi-car crash that sent his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet SS into the catchfence after passing the start/finish line in seventh place. Below are Dillon’s comments following the incident.
Q: I don’t think I have seen more happy people after a crash. How are you?
Austin Dillon: "I am just going to be really sore. It got my tailbone pretty good and my arm. Should be fine, just go ice it up and get ready for Kentucky. But just thank the good Lord for taking care of me and for what NASCAR has done to make the sport this much safer. I just hope everybody in the stands is all right. That is the next biggest concern. Just praying for everybody and glad the good Lord looked out for me tonight."
VIDEO: Johnson reacts to crash
Q: What happened?
Dillon: "You know the 11 (Denny Hamlin) got turned by the 4 (Kevin Harvick) across the start/finish line and I thought the race was going to be over right there. We were almost there, and I was just pushing the 24 (Jeff Gordon) and the next thing I knew was that I was looking at my roof for a long time. I thought it was all over when I was sliding there and the 2 (Brad Keselowski) came in and really got me. So it was a wicked ride but thank the good Lord above for taking care of me."
VIDEO: Dale Jr. wins as Dillon crashes on last lap
Q: What were your thoughts as you looked out the window and saw you were surrounded by crew members trying to help?
Dillon: "I thought that was pretty awesome. As soon as I looked up and I don’t know if it was Casey Mears‘ pit crew member or Casey right at the door, but that made me feel really good and comfortable. The only thing I was worried about was that there was oil everywhere and I wanted to get away from the car and that was why I was scrambling to get out from under it. And then just wanted to wave to the fans and let them know I was all good."
Q: The catchfence. It will be a topic of conversation. It kept you in the ballpark, so to speak, but did it do its job?
Dillon: "I don’t know because I haven’t even looked at the replay yet and I don’t know when I am going to. But I just think the next thing is that we are going to have to make this racing even more safe. We are running 200 mph and pushing each other around out there and it’s just bound to happen. No matter how safe we can make the sport, when you are going that amount of speed, things happen."
Q: Jeff Gordon said this style of racing is more like a video game, but in real life. How would you describe what you saw there in the end?
Dillon: "It definitely is a video game. With three to go, you are just going to push somebody until the end of the race. It’s wreckers or checkers. It’s like ‘Talladega Nights’ out there. So it takes a lot of confidence and just staying into the gas is tough. It is a tough sport and it’s what racing is about and it is why NASCAR has been here for so long."