NASCAR: Daytona 500 Crashes Lead to Millions of Dollars in Damages

If you watched last weekend’s Daytona 500, you’ll know this NASCAR race was full of crashes. In fact, a particularly unfortunate crash toward the end of the race ended up robbing the race leader of the win. However, have you ever wondered how much it costs to crash a NASCAR car?

A USA Today report shows us exactly how just one of these messy pileups can easily translate into millions of dollars in damages. Besides expensive cars, modern advances in safety tech mean these drivers are safer than ever before.

How many NASCAR crashes did we see at the Daytona 500?

An image of a massive crash happening at the Daytona 500 NASCAR race.
NASCAR Crash | David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It didn’t take long at all for the Daytona 500 NASCAR race to produce a serious pileup. In fact, Yahoo report that it took just 15 laps for bits of metal to start flying. According to Yahoo, the first major crash we witnessed was initiated as driver Christopher Bell pushed Aric Almirola. This caused a chain reaction that quickly affected a total of 16 cars, some of which sustained serious damage.

While this first crash certainly caught our attention, the final major crash changed the outcome of the Daytona 500. As the NASCAR race came to a close, OregonLive report, the crash began as Brad Keselowski attempted to take the lead away from Joey Logano. Unfortunately, the two leading cars crashed, allowing the car in third place to take the win. Unfortunately, this also caused a chain reaction, which resulted in a massive multi-car crash.

However, in a split second, these teams lost millions of dollars thanks to small mistakes, which led to massive chain reactions.

This is why teams could be out millions of dollars

An image of a massive crash happening at the Daytona 500 NASCAR race.
NASCAR Crash | James Gilbert via Getty Images

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As you might imagine, the NASCAR crash cost calculation begins with the price of the car. According to USA Today, each one of these cars can costs teams up to $500,000. However, a massive portion of that price comes from the engines, which Sportekz report can cost up to $150,000 by themselves. As a result, when these big pileups occur, the repair bills do as well.

In circumstances where there is a total loss, it can cost teams the full $500,000 to replace the car. However, USA Today reports that the cars can be fixed in most cases, often costing around $250,000 in repairs. Keep in mind; this assumes that there is no damage to the car’s engine, which is one of its most expensive components. As a result, when you have incidents involving more than 15 cars, we’re talking millions of dollars lost in a split second.

How safe are the drivers?

Thankfully, NASCAR has made some massive improvements in the safety front in recent decades. According to Empire Sports Media, these improvements include stiffening the overall car and adding driver-side roll bars. The benefit of these is that it stops the car from getting crushed during massive accidents.

Additionally, drivers are required to wear specialized fire-proof suits and the HANS device, which stops severe instances of whiplash. Even the car’s laminated windshield serves a purpose. Its construction allows crew members to tear it off and quickly reach a driver in need, says CNN. In the end, the major takeaway is that while these crashes might be expensive and intense, at least drivers have a better chance than ever to walk away unharmed.