Ryan Preece will meet Wednesday with NASCAR officials at the R&D Center to go over his impact from hitting the right side of Kyle Larson’s car at Talladega Superspeedway.
NASCAR officials took Larson’s car on Sunday night after the race and later asked Stewart-Haas Racing to also bring Preece’s No. 41 to the R&D Center. Not only is NASCAR doing a post-crash examination, but both cars will be torn down.
Larson and Preece will also spend time going through the data and crash with NASCAR officials. Preece believes Larson was there earlier this week.
“Obviously, we don’t ever want to be in a ‘what happened’ situation where we have bad conversations,” Preece said on Tuesday. “We’re very lucky that Kyle and I can go over there, and we can use this as a moment to continue evolving this car and making it better.”
Preece and Larson were collected in the first overtime attempt on Sunday at Talladega when Ross Chastain tried to shoot the middle and hit Noah Gragson. Gragson crashed to the outside, and Larson spun to the inside apron before spinning back up onto the racetrack and into Preece’s path.
The heavy impact destroyed the front end of Preece’s car. The right-side door of Larson’s car near the wheel was ripped open, and a bar in the right-side door appeared to have been pushed up and bent.
Preece and Larson climbed from their cars Sunday and were evaluated and released from the infield care center.
Preece feels he’s “pretty freaking tough” taking hits, and after seeing his in-car video, noted that one of his instincts is to brace for hits to ensure his head doesn’t slam back against the headrest. Despite feeling safe in his cockpit, Preece’s veteran teammate Kevin Harvick has helped him recognize the need to never stop working on safety.
“Kevin made a great point (Monday) because I had the opinion that everything did its job,” Preece said. “I feel great, so why change anything? But he brought up that you can always make it better. You can look at this as, ‘OK, how do you feel here? What can you do differently with your belts or your HANS?’
“Something I do as a driver is I don’t clip my shield all the way down. So, if there was an event, you probably want to do that. What’s stopping you from doing that?
“Kevin’s really good at helping you raise questions to yourself and to continue pushing, whether that’s safety or performance. There are a few items I’m going to go back and look at and say, ‘Hey, can we look at maybe changing this or this?’ But I’m still really happy with everybody within SHR that mounts my seat or the way we put the seatbelts and the devices that we use for safety. I’m proud of the job they do because, at the end of the day, I was able to do everything I wanted to do yesterday.”
That included a 6 a.m. workout at Stewart-Haas Racing and shifting his focus to this weekend’s race in Dover.
“I feel fine,” Preece said. “Obviously, when you wreck, you’re going to be a little sore, but I felt fine when I got out of the race car, and Monday, I was a little sore but still able to do my workouts and everything I wanted to do. Woke up today and felt fine.”