NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Christopher Bell was sent to a Daytona Beach hospital for observation and then released after walking away from a vicious crash on the final lap of Friday night’s 2016 truck opener, won by Johnny Sauter at Daytona International Speedway.
Bell, a 21-year-old Kyle Busch Motorsports driver, was running in the lead pack on the final lap when his No. 4 Toyota broke free, flipping and barrel-rolling up to 10 times before landing on all four wheels.
Bell climbed out of the vehicle under his own power, and a NASCAR spokesman announced after the race that the Norman, Oklahoma native had been transported to the hospital for observation. He was evaluated as a precaution before being released, Kyle Busch Motorsports said in a statement distributed at 1 a.m. ET Saturday.
Bell made seven series starts for KBM last year, registering one win, two top-fives, three top-10s and an average finish of 11.9. Bell’s victory came at Eldora Speedway, the half-mile dirt track in Rossburg, Ohio, owned by Tony Stewart.
Bell is running the full truck schedule this season for KBM. On Friday night, he rebounded from early trouble to contend for the win after being involved in an incident on Lap 42 of 100 when the trucks of Cody Coughlin and Spencer Gallagher tangled while trying to get to pit road before the Truck Series’ new caution clock expired.
Third-place finisher Parker Kligerman wasn’t surprised when Bell was involved in a multi-vehicle wreck on the last lap.
"The 4 (Bell), he was really loose even 20 laps before that," Kligerman said. "The 4 was just constantly sideways. Kudos to Chris for holding onto it for as long as he did, but then eventually he just lost it."