NASCAR Crash Daytona 2013 Video NASCAR Crash Video Today Injures Fans 2013 Daytona
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Published on Feb 23, 2013
2/23/13 NASCAR Crash Daytona 2013 Video - NASCAR Crash Video Today Injures Fans 2013 Daytona Today Accident Injures Fans February 2013
Last-Lap Crash in Nascar Race Injures Fans
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — At least 28 people were injured in a crash at the end of a Nascar race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday afternoon, bringing the issue of safety at racetracks back to the forefront on the eve of Sunday's season-opening showcase, the Daytona 500.
Byron Cogdell, a spokesman at Halifax Health Medical Center, confirmed that seven people were being treated there for injuries caused by debris that flew into the stands, with two of them in critical condition, including one child.
Cogdell also said the Halifax Health Medical Center of Port Orange was treating six more of the injured, with those in stable condition. Another was being treated at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach.
The Daytona International Speedway president, Joie Chitwood, said 14 people were transported to various hospitals, with another 14 treated at an infield care center at the track.
The injuries occurred after a 12-car crash as the field approached the checkered flag at the end of a Nationwide Series race won by Tony Stewart. The No. 32 car driven by the rookie Kyle Larson went airborne in the wreck and hit the catch-fence that surrounds the track and is designed to protect fans. The entire front end of Larson's racecar was sheared off, and debris from the car, including two tires, flew into the stands. The engine wound up in a hole in the catch-fence.
"First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with our race fans," Chitwood said. "On the incident, we responded appropriately according to our protocols and had emergency medical personnel at the incident immediately.
"We're in the process of preparing the facility and will be ready to go racing tomorrow."
There were no injuries among the 12 drivers involved in the crash, including the stars Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski, the 2012 Sprint Cup champion. All were examined at the infield care center and released.
The Daytona police would not release any information on the crash and referred all media inquiries to public relations officials at the speedway, who did not comment.
The crash came as Nascar was primed for its most anticipated season-opening Daytona 500 in years, with Danica Patrick set to become the first woman to start a Sprint Cup race from the pole position and a fleet of new racecars making its debut.
Daytona International Speedway was the site of Nascar's darkest hour 12 years ago, when the seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt was killed in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Safety initiatives followed the crash, and no other driver has been killed in a Nascar national series race since then.
But there have been other serious crashes, including incidents in which racecars have gone airborne. In April 2009, the car driven by Carl Edwards left the track and hit the catch-fence at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Seven fans were injured, including one who sustained a broken jaw.
Ryan Newman's racecar also went airborne during a race at Talladega in the fall of 2009. Nascar has worked on improving roof flaps to prevent cars lifting off the racing surface in a crash.
The IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon was killed when his open-wheel racecar went airborne in a crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011.
In a Twitter post on Saturday, another IndyCar driver, Dario Franchitti, implored IndyCar and Nascar officials to do something about catch-fences. Franchitti wrote: "It's time @indycar @nascar other sanctioning bodies & promoters work on an alternative to catch fencing. There has to be a better solution." He added: "@indycar @nascar give the engineers and scientists a budget and they'll find a fix. They did it with the safer barrier."
The Safer barrier is a wall that absorbs energy in a crash and was installed at tracks after Earnhardt's death.
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