Erik Jones Miraculously Walks Away From Talladega Wreck That Looked Eerily Similar To Dale Earnhardt’s Fatal Daytona Crash

Erik Jones Talladega

It’s amazing how much progress NASCAR has made when it comes to safety in the last 20+ years.

Of course it’s still a dangerous sport, and we still see drivers get injured from time to time. But luckily, it’s a lot less frequent than it was just a decade ago.

Much of the progress can be attributed to the fatal crash suffered by Dale Earnhardt on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. And in the year prior to Earnhardt’s death, two other drivers had been killed in NASCAR from basilar skull fractures, the same injury that killed Earnhardt.

But in the 23 years since Earnhardt’s death, NASCAR hasn’t suffered a fatality thanks to the incredible advancements in safety that the sport has made.

In the wake of Earnhardt’s death, NASCAR began requiring drivers to wear head and neck support (HANS) devices, and also installed SAFER (steel and foam energy reduction) barriers at all tracks to lessen the impact drivers take when they hit the wall. And that’s not to mention the improvements to the car itself to make it safer for drivers in the event of a crash.

And all of those safety innovations were on full display during today’s Geico 500 at Talladega, when the driver of the #43 car for Legacy Motor Club took a hit that looked eerily similar to the crash that killed Earnhardt at Daytona.

Bubba Wallace got into the back of Jones and turned him hard right into the outside wall, at what appeared to be a similar angle as Earnhardt’s crash – and with Wallace’s car riding his into the wall just like Ken Schrader’s was with Earnhardt’s.

But thanks to the incredible advancements in safety, Jones was able to walk away and give an interview after being checked at the infield care center just minutes later.

“I’m a little sore but I’ll be alright.”


And fans immediately began comparing the hit that Jones took to the one suffered by Earnhardt:

Just incredible that Jones was able to walk away from that one, and a true testament to the safety improvements that NASCAR’s made over the years.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock