Rookie Austin Hill Earns NASCAR Xfinity Win at Daytona
Feb 20, 2022
The engine and rear axle was stripped from the car driven by Myatt Snider in a violent last lap crash that sent debris into a motorhome lot and ended the NASCAR Xfinity Series opener on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
Racing for the win approaching the checkered flag, the Jordan Anderson Racing No. 31 driven by Snider was sent airborne and into the catchfence. Snider was just outside of the top-five when he was turned sideways in front of the field. Contact from the Our Motorsports No. 27 of Jeb Burton sent Snider into the air where the rear of his car caught the fencing.
Jade Buford in the Big Machine Racing No. 48 drove under Snider.
The various impacts sheared the engine and rear axle off the car. The engine was hit by the BJ McLeod Motorsports No. 5 driven by Matt Mills. In total, nine cars were listed as being involved in the resulting melee.
Debris was sent flying into a motor home lot where Bubba Wallace and Michael Jordan were standing.
Upon coming to a stop, Snider immediately pulled his window net down to signal to safety workers that he was awake and alert. Snider was taken to the infield care center, where he was treated and released, albeit with a limp on his left leg that required his exit on a golf cart.
Snider says it may require additional treatment or attention but he expects to race next weekend in Fontana.
"It's the last lap and everybody's trying their best to push as hard as possible and trying to keep as much momentum as I can get," Snider said to a group of reporters outside the infield care center. "I felt a push and I started feeling the car go right, and I'm like 'crap, I might be along for the ride here.'
"And sure enough I was.
"I got turned around to the side and then I was facing backwards, and I started seeing the racetrack and I'm like 'Mmm, this is getting better as it goes.' And I think what happened is that the left rear started yawing towards the fence and then the fence caught it. And that's what really started tearing everything up, and then I got drug into the grass from what I could tell. I'm extremely blessed to be as okay as I am, and glad that Jordan Anderson Racing built such a safe race car."
For his part, Buford said his impact was relatively minimal, but he was aware that he was driving under Snider.
"It was pretty crazy," Buford said. "That’s how last laps at Daytona go. ... I came over the radio and told my team, ‘I believe a car just flipped over me.’"
Tommy Joe Martins was spun alongside Snider and most of the worst of it took place behind him but he painted a vivid scene of the incident’s aftermath.
"Last lap at Daytona and everyone is going for it," Martins said. "I think we were stacked up on the bottom line. I’m guessing that was Myatt’s car in the air, it’s hard to make out. It’s like a MASH unit in the infield care center. Myatt’s okay, has a little bit of a limp, but I was stacked up on the low line and wound up in the grass and was past the worst of it.
"That’s a wild looking crash from my point of view. That’s not something I want to be looking out my mirror at or my windshield a whole lot."
That was the first time Snider has truly been upside down in his career.
"I’ve never actually flipped in a race car," Snider said. "That’s kind of wild to think. Huh. Great place to do it at Daytona."
It was also the hardest hit of his career.
"I had one hard hit in an ARCA race at Kansas before, but that was child’s play compared to this," he added. "I just saw sparks and crap flying everywhere. It was quite the adventure."
Snider was able to climb out of the car on his own and took a moment to reflect on what was left of the car he had just driven for 300 miles.
"I noticed the whole car was basically in shambles," Snider said "I’m surprised there was more race car left. I looked forward when I got out of the car, and I see the motor’s gone. It looked like the fuel cell was almost gone. There was not much left of that race car. Yard sale."
NASCAR officials now must work overnight to repair the fencing before Sunday’s Daytona 500.