At least 28 Nascar fans were injured at Daytona International Speedway yesterday when debris flew into the grandstands after a car crashed on its final lap of a Nationwide Series race, a prelude to today’s Daytona 500.
Fourteen people were transported off the property yesterday and 14 were treated at the track’s on-site care center, Daytona President Joie Chitwood said during a televised press conference.
Rookie Kyle Larson’s car had its front end shaved off with the engine crashing into the stands and a tire flying into the seats. Speedway crews repaired the fence and stands in preparation for today’s Daytona 500.
“There obviously was some intrusion into the fence and fortunately with the way the event’s equipped up, there were plenty of emergency workers ready to go and they all jumped in on it pretty quickly,” NASCAR President Mike Helton said in a video on its website. “Right now, it’s just a function of determining what all damage is done.”
Helton said emergency crews moved the injured fans to local hospitals.
Regan Smith, leading the race at the time, tried to block Brad Keselowski when the accident occurred. Larson’s car hit Keselowski and went airborne. Larson emerged from his damaged vehicle and stood on the track, hands on his hips.
“I was getting pushed from behind, I felt like, and by the time my spotter said lift or go low, it was too late,” Larson said during a Nascar video. “I took a couple big hits there and saw my engine was gone. Just hope everybody’s all right.”