At just about every NASCAR race, there are close calls between race cars and inattentive fans.
Rarely, however, do they come in contact with each other. But on Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Erin Vandyke was the exception to the rule.
Vandyke was standing in an area off limits to race fans when Kyle Busch brought his severely damaged No. 18 Toyota off the track into the garage after blowing a tire on Lap 259 of 500. Video shows that Vandyke had her back turned toward the car and suffered a glancing blow when the car rolled up beside her.
Vandyke, whose husband Kres Vandyke is 2014 NASCAR Whelen All-American Tennessee state champion and Kingsport Speedway track champion, posted on her Facebook account that she was “in a safe area and he entered the wrong way." But as the video clearly shows, as Busch came off the track in Turn 3, Vandyke had entered an area in front of the media center that had been cordoned off.
NASCAR Senior Vice President Steve O'Donnell addressed the situation Monday on NASCAR Sirius/XM Radio.
“At the end of the day, it is a race,” O’Donnell said. “Thankfully, everyone was OK there. So we will not look at that in terms of Kyle Busch. But we will look at it to see if there’s anything we can do from a security perspective. We always reiterate to anyone that’s in the garage to be alert. This is a live race that’s going on. It was roped off. And thankfully, she was OK.
“As with any incident, we’ll go ahead and take a look and see what we can improve upon.”
Citing HIPAA privacy laws, BMS declined comment at this time.