Gianna Tulio, Ryan Blaney’s fiancée, recalls NASCAR champ’s massive Daytona wreck: ‘I froze’

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NASCAR star Ryan Blaney was involved in a massive wreck in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway back in August, and it was a key moment in one episode of a new Netflix documentary.

Blaney and his fiancée Gianna Tulio recalled the moment in the third episode of “NASCAR: Full Speed.” The two were at their home watching the wreck. Blaney asked Tulio what she thought at the moment.

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Gianna Tulio and Ryan Blaney

NASCAR Cup Series Champion Ryan Blaney and Gianna Tulio pose for photos with the Goodyear Gold Car during a reception prior to the NASCAR Awards and Champion Celebration at the Music City Center on Nov. 30, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

“I froze. I didn’t know what to think at first,” she said. “I was just waiting to hear your voce in the radio so I knew you were OK.”

Blaney crashed into the wall head-on after he was tapped by Ty Gibbs in the No. 54 car. The wreck caught 16 cars in the process. He admitted in the episode he was a little shaken up.

“Before I knew it, I was hitting the fence. I saw the whiteness of the wall the very last second, and then I’m hitting it,” he said. “And then you take a while to catch your breath. It took me 2 or 3 minutes to get my bearings together.”

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Tulio added, “you could tell he didn’t really have his breath and he was a little shaken up.”

A wrecked Blaney car

The #12 Advance Auto Parts Ford, driven by Ryan Blaney, is towed after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Aug. 26, 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

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Blaney said if he would have had the wreck about four years ago, he would have drank “all day” on Sunday.

“It’s nice to have that little angel on your should there, like, ‘Hey you should probably rest up,’” he added. “I don’t think about the danger side of it. We constantly think of the safety side, of what we can do better to keep improving the safety of these race cars.

“Those safety innovations that we’ve had in the last 20 years had been phenomenal.”

Ryan Blaney and Gianna Tulio in 2022

Ryan Blaney, #12 Team Penske Wurth Ford, stands with girlfriend Gianna Tulio before the running of the NASCAR Cup Series Geico 500 on April 24, 2022, at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. (Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Blaney ended up winning the NASCAR Championship at the end of the season. He proposed to Tulio in December.

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