In an interview last weekend with The Observer, NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell said driver Kyle Busch had made a recent visit to NASCAR's research and development center in Concord, N.C, to go over his damaged Daytona race car and go through feedback on his accident.
During Busch's first media availability Wednesday at Joe Gibbs Racing, I asked Busch what, if anything, new he learned from going through the process at the R&D center compared to just watching video replays of the incident.
Here was his response:
"I had seen cars wreck, and I had seen some pretty bad crashes, we all have and you’ve seen a lot of cars destroyed, whatever you want to say. As far as the compression of the race car, I felt like there was a lot there, and a lot to learn for myself, Joe Gibbs Racing, for our engineers here, but also the engineers at NASCAR, to learn and understand. I know they’re kind of thankful that I was actually able to get out under my own power and they didn’t cut the car so they could actually take it back and review it more and more and really do a diagnostic on it. They still are, they’re still working through it as we speak," he said.
"I feel like when I saw the wreck, it probably was worse than I expected it to be when I looked at it. Now seeing it and looking at it and understanding what happened in the cockpit – I didn’t sit there when I was in the car and getting out of the car, ‘Man look at that, holy smokes.’ I had a few other things on my mind at that time. When I got back to go to the NASCAR R&D Center, obviously that was when I had a good chance to see what it looked like and to see how much safety innovations NASCAR has come up with over the years to keep me here today.
"I’m alive today just because the fact that the restraints worked, the seat worked, the HANS device worked – everything worked. It was just the pure foot cockpit of the area that obviously injured me. I can’t say enough about NASCAR and their innovations. From knees up, no problem, not a mark on me, not a bruise, not a headache, not a neck ache, nothing – it was all great. It was just a matter of your flailing feet when you’re in a wreck like that.”