By David Morgan, Associate Editor
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Superspeedway racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series has seen its fair share of vicious crashes in recent years and added another to the list on the final lap of Saturday’s Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300 at Daytona.
As the pack charged down the backstretch for the final time, Myatt Snider got turned from the inside lane, sending him head-on toward the outside wall. Spinning sideways in the middle of the field, contact sent Snider’s No. 31 Chevrolet airborne, where it made contact with the catchfence, tossing it around like a rag doll.
By the time the car came to a rest in the infield grass, a number of parts and pieces were missing from Snider’s car, including the engine, and the majority of the front clip.
Thankfully, Snider was able to lower the window net in short order and climb from the car under his own power. Following a short stay in the infield care center, the Jordan Anderson Racing driver was treated and released.
“It’s the last lap and everybody is trying their best to push as hard as possible and I’m trying to keep as much momentum as I can get,” Snider explained. “I felt a push and I felt the car starting to go right and I’m like ‘Crap. I might be along for a ride here.’ And sure enough I was.
“I got turned around to the side, then I was facing backwards. I started seeing the racetrack and I’m like ‘Hmm. This is getting better as it goes.’ I think what happened was the left rear started yawing towards the fence and then the fence caught it. That’s what really started tearing everything up. Then I got drug into the grass from what I can tell.
“I’m extremely blessed to be OK as I am. Glad that Jordan Anderson Racing builds such a safe race car. Man, I thought we were going to get a top-five finish. We were so close. I felt we were in contention all day. That’s just the nature of the beast in racing.”
Snider noted that his left leg and foot was sore after the crash and he would be getting it evaluated in the coming days, adding that he should be fine to race when the season continues at Fontana next week.
The impact with the fence caused significant damage, which will require repair ahead of Sunday’s Daytona 500. Bubba Wallace and team owner Michael Jordan were near the area where Snider’s car impacted the fence, with Wallace sharing a photo of the damage afterwards.
Denny Hamlin, who was calling the race from the broadcast booth, also sustained some damage to his bus, noting on Twitter that a suspension piece had embedded itself in his bus during the crash.
Justin Allgaier, who is no stranger to hard crashes at Daytona, remarked on the incident, adding that it was one of the harder crashes that he has seen in a number of years. He was involved in one of the most violent Xfinity Series crashes in recent memory when Kyle Larson took flight into the catchfence on the frontstretch back in 2013.
“That was a nasty, nasty wreck,” Allgaier commented. “I’ve not seen one like that in a long time, so I’m glad he is alright…I kind of caught a glimpse of it in my rear-view mirror. He was either right behind me or two behind me. I saw him start to crash. At that point, you kind of see the smoke and it’s hard to know what’s going on at that point.
“Once I came to the front straightaway, they had the replay on the jumbotron. With the motor not being between the front wheels, that’s pretty incredible.
“I remember when Kyle crashed on the front straightaway and I was underneath him. You know, those are devastating blows. The safety that NASCAR has put into these cars, all of our safety partners and manufacturers have really stepped up the game. You don’t want to have a crash like that. You don’t want to test your safety equipment, but I’m really proud of where we’ve gotten to as a sport.”