By KEVIN JACOBS
In a scary moment at Talladega Superspeedway during the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 ARCA Racing Series race on Friday evening, Brad Smith, driver of the No. 48 Radon.com car, was involved in an accident very similar to the one Kyle Busch had during the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona. One major difference between the two accidents is Talladega had SAFER barriers protecting the inside wall. Still, Smith was sent to a local hospital for evaluation. As of the last update from the broadcast, he was awake and alert.
For any viewers that witnessed the horrific hit, when the area of impact was confirmed to have SAFER barriers installed, an exhale of relief was released. Grateful are the fans for the continued push for total coverage of track walls after experiencing an instance of this and credit needs to be given to Talladega. Hopefully, this instance will be another example of importance for total coverage on every track.
The 76 lap race featured excitement all the way to the end with Tom Hessert, the leader in the majority of the race, running out of gas on a final restart. Blake Jones, driver of the No. 22 Uncle Ray’s Dodge Charger, went on to earn his first ARCA Series victory at age 18.
Grant Enfinger, who won three of the last four ARCA races and leads the championship points, was involved in an accident with 10 laps to go after getting shuffled in the back after a restart. Second in points going into the race was Austin Wayne Self, who also ended his night early after being involved in the accident with Smith.
Now, having ARCA-DEGA complete, the series moves on to Toledo for the Menards 200 Presented by Federated Car Care on May 17.