The fuelman wanted to walk it off; Following evaluation, he suffered multiple injuries
The pit road incident happened with 53 laps to go in the Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It took place during a green flag pit cycle during the final stage of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
Ryan Preece was pulling out of his pit stall on Sunday afternoon. Soon after, he made contact with BJ McLeod who was pulling into his stall.
Watch the video of the Atlanta Motor Speedway pit road accident below.
As Preece pulled out of his stall, he took a brief moment to look down at his tachometer and set his speed. Drivers minimize time on pit road by the RPM of the engine. They reach a certain rev limit and hold it there as they exit the pit lane.
Too little RPM and you’ll lose a lot of time. Too much RPM and you’ll be handed a pit road speeding penalty, a pass through violation. Things are intensified as it was a green flag stop, where more is on the line.
As soon as Preece looked down to set his RPM, McLeod started pulling into his box. McLeod jumped on the brakes as Preece was on the throttle and getting up to speed while also looking down at the tach.
They made contact. Preece suffered heavy front end damage and was forced to the garage area where he ended his race.
The contact in the left rear sent BJ McLeod for a spin before reaching his own pit stall. He spun into the pit box for Chris Buescher, who is the teammate to Ryan Preece. Buescher just pitted from the 7th position and left his stall moments before.
“Guys, I was looking down at my tach and completely missed it,” Preece radio.
Anthony Pasut, the fuel guy for Chirs Buescher was still standing in the box as McLeod slid through. The 3,500 lb race car pinned the fuelman between the race car of McLeod and the inside pit wall.
Pasut jumped free of the scene. He climbed back over the inside wall. The medical staff arrived as Pasut laid on the ground.
Soon after, he got up on his own power. He wanted to walk it off and go back to work.
However, under the recommendation of the NASCAR medical staff, he was carried away from the pit lane on a golf cart.
Upon evaluation, Anthony Pasut has suffered a broken fibula, torn ACL and additional injuries to his right leg.
JTG Daugherty Racing (#35 / #47) gets their pit crew members from Hendrick Motorsports. It’s unclear when Anthony Pasut will return to the track. A replacement has not yet been announced.
Worthy note: BJ McLeod’s pit stall has 8 pit stalls up from the pit stall of Ryan Preece. It’s possible that McLeod was on the brakes a little soon and/or struggling to find his stall.
You can watch the video of the pit road accident at Atlanta Motor Speedway between Ryan Preece and BJ McLeod below.