NASCAR Chairman Brian France reaffirmed NASCAR’s dedication to safety in an interview Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, his first public comments regarding Austin Dillon’s last-lap crash Monday morning in the rain-delayed Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
“We live and breathe delivering the closest, tightest and safest competition in the world and when we have a problem, we solve it,” France said.
The crash sent Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet flying into the catchfence on the frontstretch, destroying about 60 feet of the fence.
Dillon walked away from the accident with a bruised tailbone and forearm while five fans were treated for injuries, including one being taken to the hospital and later released.
“Obviously we want to make sure the cars, whenever a car gets airborne, whatever the circumstances, we are all over that to understand what happened,” France said, noting that discussions and reviews of the incident had begun by 8 a.m. Monday, a little over five hours after the crash occurred at 2:42 a.m. ET.
France touted the efforts and resources of the NASCAR Research and Development Center, which is located in Concord, N.C. The center opened in 2003.
“We’ll look at all the things that are available to us,” France said. “That is one of the beauties of technology and innovation and one of the benefits that we have as the only sanctioning body that has a full-time research and development center that focuses only that. On safety, on getting the rules packages right, etc. We’re the only one that deploys that many resources and that much talent.”
France also told “Tradin’ Paint” that input from NASCAR’s many teams is “harnessed” at the R&D Center to find solutions that could prevent accidents like Dillon’s.
“When we see something different, an accident like we did, that was, wow, very unique last night, we’ll learn from that and we’ll deploy all the talent and resources that we have to try and avoid that in the future,” France said. “That’s what our fans expect us to be doing. Working on (and) solving, and that’s exactly what we are doing.”