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Ryan Preece will remember the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season for two very scary reasons. The first occurred in a violent crash with Kyle Larson at Talladega in April. Incredibly, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver endured an even more terrifying accident last weekend at Daytona when his car got airborne before crashing down to earth and flipping a mind-boggling 11 times. 

Many fans and drivers said Preece’s latest was one of the worst they had ever seen. The driver made it clear on X/Twitter hours after his crash that he would be back. He hadn’t been heard from or seen since. Until Friday, and he sent a clear message about his resolve, but his appearance also raised questions because of what he was wearing, and, for some, it was a reminder back to a similar situation more than 30 years ago.

Ryan Preece violently crashes at Daytona

Watching Ryan Preece and the No. 41 car spinning and tumbling down the infield grass at Daytona International Speedway like an Olympic gymnast was as mesmerizing as it was sickening. It was almost unbelievable to see a 3,500-pound car making those sorts of motions, both on the ground and in the air. But the terrifying part was knowing that there was a son, husband, and brand new father holding on for dear life inside that cockpit enduring each and every spin and blow of the car. 

When the crash that appeared even too far-fetched for a movie script ended, there was one severely mangled car — and a lot of concern. It was hard to know precisely how violent it was for the driver inside, but both an undone window net and missing roof hatch provided some indication of the viciousness that had just taken place. 

Thankfully, after several nervous minutes, Preece emerged and was assisted onto an awaiting stretcher. He was initially taken to the infield care center before later being transported to Halifax Health Medical Center, where he stayed overnight for observation.

He was released the next day and returned home to North Carolina.

Delivers message to fans while wearing shades

Outside of that tweet on Saturday night, Preece had understandably gone social media silent. However, that changed on Friday when he appeared in an SHR video on X that initially showed his No. 41 car crashing, before he sat down in a chair and opened with, “No bulls***, I’ll see you at Darlington.” 

He then continued:

“I mean I’m sitting right here, I’m completely fine,” he said looking into the camera while wearing dark sunglasses. “And you know I feel good and obviously I’m ready to get to Darlington. 

“So growing up, being around a lot of old-school racers, the biggest thing about a racer is being tough. That mentality as a racer was instilled in me. That’s what, I want to be as a racecar driver somebody who is tough. Someone who is going to do whatever it takes not only as a racer but as a person. 

“This is the sport that I’ve given so much to. Something I’ve worked my entire life for. I’m not stepping aside. That’s not who I am as a person. That’s not who I am as a racer. It would take a lot for somebody to get me out of that racecar.”

Speculation on wearing sunglasses like Davey Allison


Michael Jordan Expresses Concern When Reacting to Violent Ryan Preece Crash at Daytona 

Throughout the entire video clip, Preece wore dark sunglasses. Unsurprisingly, many questioned why and others speculated, most often suggesting that he was hiding some bruising and potentially a black eye or two. 

As crazy as it sounds, it’s not unprecedented. It’s happened in the past, including after Davey Allison’s brutal crash at Pocono in 1992, where he also got airborne and endured numerous flips. He suffered a concussion, a broken arm, wrist, and collarbone. 

He arrived at Talladega the following week wearing dark sunglasses, hiding his bruised eyes. He pushed back on reporters asking him to take off the shades and show his eyes, hinting that it was “ugly.” Eventually, he relented and removed the sunglasses, which revealed two blood-filled eyes with bruising above and below both. 

Preece didn’t reveal his eyes during the video. Will he do it this weekend at Darlington? You know he’ll be asked. And if he follows Allison’s lead from 31 years earlier, it’ll likely be just as unsettling to see. 

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