Daytona Carnage – it had to happen eventually

hat tip Keeping Stock

The Huffington Post reports

At least 33 fans were injured [today]  during a NASCAR race when a car flew into the fence at Daytona International Speedway, hurling a tire and large pieces of debris into the stands.

The accident happened on the last lap of the second-tier Nationwide Series race on the eve of Sunday’s Daytona 500, which officials said would go on as scheduled.

The crash began as the field approached the checkered flag and leader Regan Smith attempted to block Brad Keselowski to preserve the win. That triggered a chain reaction, and rookie Kyle Larson hit the cars in front of him and went airborne into the fence.

The entire front end was sheared off Larson’s car, and his burning engine wedged through a gaping hole in the fence. Chunks of debris from the car were thrown into the stands, including a tire that cleared the top of the fence and landed midway up the spectator section closest to the track.

The 20-year-old Larson stood in shock several yards away from his car as fans in the stands waived frantically for help. Smoke from the burning engine briefly clouded the area, and emergency vehicles descended on the scene.

Ambulance sirens could be heard wailing behind the grandstands at a time the race winner would typically be doing celebratory burnouts.

“It was freaky. When I looked to my right, the accident happened,” said Rick Harpster of Orange Park, Fla., who had a bird’s-eye view of the wreck. “I looked over and I saw a tire fly straight over the fence into the stands, but after that I didn’t see anything else That was the worst thing I have seen, seeing that tire fly into the stands. I knew it was going to be severe.”

Speedway President Joie Chitwood said 14 fans were treated on site, and 14 others were taken to hospitals. Chitwood didn’t give any updates on their conditions. Local officials said 19 fans were taken to neighboring hospitals, including two who were arrived in critical condition but were later listed in stable condition.

 


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  • Kyle Larson, the dude whose car was ripped in two has just spent the northern winter racing in New Zealand where he was too good for the best midget car fields seen here for many years. He has a huge future in NASCAR, having picked up a full season’s ride in the second tier Nationwide Series. But he’ll be off to buy a Lotto ticket after a VERY lucky escape today.

    NASCAR has invested hugely in safety over the last ten years or so.. Debris getting into the crowd is a very rare event. But the crowds will be back at Daytona tomorrow for the Daytona 500, and there are bound to be a few wrecks. MySky is already set and ready to capture all the action.

    • cows4me

      Love NASCAR Keeping stock, great that it’s on in the mornings. Milk the cows, shift stock, make some breakfast and settle on the sofa. The wife and myself hope to get to a race at some stage but usually the races on the west coast are usually scheduled when we have to milk the cows. Will make it one day.

      • Taladega is on my bucket list cows4me; those super-speedways are incredible.

        • cows4me

          Yeah that track would be my first choice by far, amazing speeds. Sadly Talladega is on the wrong side of the states and raced at the wrong times when it comes to dairy farming, never mind.

    • cows4me

      Oh yes KS, Jeff Gordon was staying at a neighbours place some years ago ( 15+). He was over here to race midget cars at the Stratford speedway. Was great, got a heap of souvenir’s.

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