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“I’ll Pay For The F***ing Thing”: Blaney Criticizes Lack of SAFER Barrier After Hard Hit

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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"Hardest hit of my life": Ryan Blaney sounds off after brutal head-first hit into the wall

What’s Happening?

In the latter stages of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway, Ryan Blaney got together with Alex Bowman and Kyle Busch, which sent him heading straight for the inside wall. He and his No. 12 Menard’s Ford would hit head-on into a concrete wall with no SAFER Barrier to absorb some of the energy from the impact. This would spark some discussions of safety concerns, the firestarter here being none other than the driver himself – as he quickly criticized NASCAR and SMI for not already taking care of the situation, citing safety concerns.

You Need To Know:

  • After being checked and released from the in-field care center at Nashville Superspeedway, Ryan Blaney was very vocal, begging the question as to why, with everything they know about the NextGen car and its history with injuries, no SAFER Barrier was installed in the sport where he hit. Blaney would call the crash the “hardest hit he’d ever had in his life” and would even offer to “pay for the f***ing thing [SAFER Barrier]” to be installed.
  • Blaney’s criticisms have some legitimacy behind them, as a number of drivers have received head injuries after big hits in the NextGen car, namely in the form of concussions. This is a huge design flaw in the car as it absorbs so little energy that it leaves the driver taking the largest part of any impact.
  • The fan outcry, as predicted, is aimed mostly at NASCAR and Nashville Superspeedway, many of them wondering why, with everything we know about the car to date, this wasn’t already thought of. NASCAR and SMI will, in time, make sure a SAFER Barrier is installed at that portion of the track but it’s a reactive response when the appropriate response would have been a proactive one.

The Main Characters

Ryan Blaney states in a post-crash interview with Dustin Long that he would even “pay for the f***ing thing” if NASCAR installed a SAFER Barrier in the portion of track where he hit.

NASCAR and SMI are also major characters in this story. Only time will tell how they react to such an embarrassing oversight.

Also Read:

Around The Garage

Unfortunately, the NextGen car with its over-the-top durability has a track record of head injuries, specifically concussions. The first to receive this type of injury was Kurt Busch who, during a qualifying crash at Pocono in 2022, got a concussion that ultimately ended his full-time career. While he still insists that he wants to return, he has yet to be cleared by doctors, even after all this time. We at the Daily Downforce are wishing him a speedy recovery and we hope that he is in a happy place and is healthy.

Alex Bowman also missed a number of races during the Playoffs late last year due to a concussion after a wreck in the NextGen car. As posted here by Kenny Wallace, Bowman goes in depth about his lengthy recovery.

Noah Gragson was the most recent victim of the unforgiving nature of the NextGen car. He sat out at Sonoma. Luckily, he only missed one race. But it could have been much, much worse.

In The Stands

Jupiter Joe can’t believe what he just saw. That was a BRUTAL hit!

AustinS says there should be a SAFER Barrier there. If Blaney starts to show concussion symptoms, NASCAR and SMI are liable, not Blaney.

HendrickMotorsports14XChamps has it right: Nashville Speedway and SMI are liable.

HanzSolo calls for NASCAR to go further. They’d also like to see some in-car footage.

Back to Back AG Dawg can’t believe that in the year 2023, there are STILL gaps of the wall at a NASCAR sanctioned track that lack SAFER Barriers. It truly is unbelievable.

Hellphish89, I certainly hope this doesn’t happen. If he starts to show symptoms, he needs to get treatment immediately!

Dr. Van Nostrand calls for NASCAR to leave Nashville altogether.

On Your Screen

Out of the Groove’s Eric Estepp on the Blaney hit.

Our friend from Black Flags Matter, Darian Gilliam, catches footage of the carnage that is the No. 12 car.

DannyBTalks wishes Blaney the best. We all do, man. We all do.

From The Pressbox

Bob Pockrass caught up with Blaney after the violent hit. This is what he had to say.

What do you think, NASCAR fans? Does NASCAR need to mandate that every inch of wall be covered by SAFER Barrier? Are you ignorant like me and thought that was already the case? Let us know!

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Picture of Cody Williams

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
All Posts