The issue was caused by hot Florida weather as well as a failed in-car cooling system
Today, the NASCAR Cup Series is racing on the Daytona Road Course. It’s NASCAR’s newest track and a replacement event for Watkins Glen.
On lap 36 of 65, the race was red flagged due to lightning in the area.
Just before that, we saw a driver change on the No. 27 machine.
JJ Yeley is no longer in the car. He pulled to the pit lane to have the crew blow cold air on him. His in-car cooling system isn’t working. Instead, it’s blowing hot air right in the face of the driver.
After the crew cooled him off, he went out for 1 lap, circled back and returned to the pits. Yeley climbed from his car and collapsed.
Bayley Currey is now driving the No. 27. Currey was the only driver around who had a suit and was ready to go.
Several NASCAR members are facing issues in the Center Florida heat.
Daniel Suarez has lost a pit crew member and a mechanic to the medical center today.
The race remains under a red flag.
“I’m not really hungry. But, ice in a cup would be nice,” Chase Elliott radio after the crew asks if he needs anything during the red.
The race is likely to resume shortly, assuming a 30 minute break in the lightning. The series has rain tires at the ready.
Yeley was taken to the infield medical center in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Related: Scary moment as NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace appears to pass out on tv, twice (Video)
UPDATE: JJ Yeley posts video update after the race
“Got really really hot in the car. My A/C unit went out pretty early in the second stage,” Yeley opened in the social media video.
“Between the temperatures in the car and the focus that was needed here today at Daytona, I was really struggling. In my 16 year time in NASCAR, I’ve never not finished a race because of fatigue.”
“I’ve thrown up plenty of times, in the car, in my helmet and able to endure it. But today, I felt like it was the best for the team, for Xbox and NASCAR heat to try to get out of the car, let Bayley Currey get in the car, just before the caution was up.”
“Sorry to all my fans. I’m a little bit disappointed in myself that I couldn’t pull it through. I think if I knew we would get that lightning break, I would have been able to survive. Just, too hot.”
Related: Daytona race results from August 16, 2020 (NASCAR Cup Series)