HomeSportsNascarNASCAR changing passenger side chassis following Kyle Larson, Ryan Preece wreck at Talladega

NASCAR changing passenger side chassis following Kyle Larson, Ryan Preece wreck at Talladega

by Jonathan Howard
Kyle Larson Talladega restart
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

NASCAR has been looking at the wreck between Kyle Larson and Ryan Preece for weeks and has announced some changes. Those changes will first be applied at Charlotte in two weeks. Additions will be made to the passenger side of the chassis on all Cup Series cars to enhance safety.

The driver-side panels are reinforced with metal plates to protect the driver. However, we saw what happens when a car hits the passenger side at high speeds. And it could have been worse given it happened at Talladega. Preece slammed into Kyle Larson’s side and there was significant damage.

It was enough to make NASCAR take both cars back to Research & Development and investigate exactly what went down. Now it appears they have a response to the incident.

According to Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports, NASCAR has already informed teams as of Friday via email that changes are coming. There will be gusset plates, which are metal plates that help reinforce joints and connections. This will be mounted over areas where the chassis is already welded together.

Clearly, there is something more that needs to be done. When the bars came apart in the collision it made you wonder what would happen if one went flying at Kyle Larson. Thankfully, it wasn’t worse than it was. However, it is great to see NASCAR addressing a needed change.

Chase Elliott didn’t like what happened to Kyle Larson

After the wreck at Talladega, there were many concerns. One of the biggest statements came from Chase Elliott. Chase and Kyle Larson aren’t just teammates, they are friends. Not just that, they also happen to be in the same line of work. So what happens to one matters to the other.

When asked about the incident back in April, Elliott didn’t hold back.

“It’s not great, right?” Elliott said ahead of practice at Dover, via Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports. “At the end of the day, you look at that thing. … From what I’ve heard and the pictures I’ve seen, certainly a bit concerning on a multitude of levels. So, I’m disappointed in that, personally. You know, last year it was like well, we’re not you know, the softer hits were a problem but that’s in preparation for a bigger hit being covered. And from the data I heard he was only doing 130 [MPH], so what happens if he’s doing 180 or 160?

“So I definitely think that’s concerning. But I also think probably more of a conversation on how to move forward outside of this room and we’ll get it better where we can be productive on it and not just sit here and run my mouth.”

Teams will have to adjust but this is a step in the right direction.