A loose lead ballast weight from another car hit Jamie Dick’s number 55 Chevrolet during today’s NASCAR Xfinity practice at Iowa Speedway, going through the windshield and hitting the side of Dick’s helmet.
His car obviously didn’t come out unscathed, as you can see where the wayward metal completely caved in the polycarbonate windshield on one side.
Of course, his helmet tells the bigger story:
Right. In. The. Visor.
“It was a decent hit. Good thing I was wearing a helmet, that’s what it’s for,” Dick told the Des Moines Register. “I feel fine. I could definitely feel it.”
The offending piece of metal was improperly secured ballast from another car. While Dick refused to snitch out the car whose ballast came loose to the Des Moines Register, it was definitely a piece of lead ballast from another car that nearly struck Dick in the head.
The piece of lead came from the number 4 car of Ross Chastain, who has since apologized for the carnage to Dick’s car.
Regardless, we expect to see some kind of improperly secured ballast related penalty on the way soon.
Jamie Dick will be running a back-up car for the rest of the 3M 250 weekend at Iowa Speedway. He was cleared by the medical center, albeit still a little shaken from the incident. You can see the Des Moines Register’s video interview with Dick here.
Update: The number 4 car got hit with penalties after the race over this incident, both with NASCAR’s catch-all “actions detrimental to stock car racing” as well as a violation of the rule on ballast:
220.127.116.11: Overall vehicle weight
B. Any and all ballast added to the vehicle must be bolted inside an added ballast container, inside the main frame rails, and/or inside the front sway bar mounting tube. Weight affixed improperly.
The number 4 crew chief Gary Cogswell was fined $15,000 and will remain on probation for the rest of the year. Car chief Charles Kent will also be on probation through the rest of the year.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.