Part of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Theriault's head-and-neck restraint system broke when he crashed into a concrete wall unprotected by SAFER barrier at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 3.
According to multiple reports, the surprising finding was revealed by team owner Brad Keselowski during an event Tuesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame where Brad Keselowski Racing named Austin Cindric as Theriault's replacement for this weekend's truck race at Martinsville Speedway.
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Theriault, who slammed the wall nearly head-on, was transported via ambulance to a local hospital and later diagnosed with a 10 percent compression fracture of his back. He has not competed since.
HANS Performance Products -- makers of the head-and-neck restraint system Theriault was wearing -- issued a statement to its Facebook page on Wednesday, stating that part of Theriault's HANS device cracked.
"We have learned that the right side tether carrier on Austin Theriault's HANS device cracked during his violent collision in Las Vegas," the statement read. "The HANS device did its job protecting his head and neck, as it has in thousands of racing crashes. We are pleased that Austin was not further injured and that he plans to return to racing wearing a HANS head restraint. We are working with NASCAR to investigate the specifics of this impact and what may be learned from it."
Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials have pledged to have SAFER barriers covering the unprotected area Theriault hit when the Sprint Cup Series returns next spring.