Ryan Preece

Ryan Preece sported a couple of black eyes in the Darlington Raceway garage Saturday, looking like he lost a fight to the schoolyard bully.

Instead, Preece was the big winner, walking away from one of the scariest NASCAR Cup Series crashes in recent memory last weekend at Daytona.

And he’s racing in the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway Sunday, black eyes and all.

Preece barrel-rolled almost a dozen times in that crash at Daytona last Saturday.

A week later, he’s been fully cleared to race. When someone asked why he didn’t consider taking a weekend off, he disagreed with the idea.

“We’re supposed to be tough. It’s OK to be tough,” Preece said. “My father raised me to be the way I am, how tough I am and how I want to be as a person.”

“I feel completely fine, so why stop? I get what you’re saying, it’s OK not to race, but it’s OK to race. And I think that’s what needs to be said here.”

NASCAR fans saluted the 32-year-old driver on his dedication … and toughness. His tough-guy look spurred a few “Fight Club” jokes.

[Stewart-Haas Racing]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.