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I said this right after it happened, and Chocolate Myers concurred on his show - while it looked like a devastating hit the way the car went through the wall (or the wall through the car, depending on your perspective), that part of the car has no roll cage or any protective shell, whereas the driver compartment in the COT has not only the cage but also a strengthened metal plate. Would he have totally escaped injury? Possibly not, but it definitely wouldn't have sliced right through like it did.
Actually the more dire concern had he hit further forward is that the car would have bounced off and possibly turned into the pit area, and with the gas cans right nearby that could have been a very bad scene for the 5 crew.