At least 28 NASCAR fans were injured in a last lap crash at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. The fans were injured when pieces of Kyle Larson’s car pierced through the catch-fence that surrounds the track.
The catch-fence is designed to keep pieces of wrecked cars from hitting and injuring fans. The crash brings to the forefront questions about fan safety on the eve of the race that killed Dale Earnhardt 12 years ago.
The president of Daytona International Speedway, Joie Chitwood, stated that 14 fans were transported to nearby hospitals and another 14 were treated at the track’s infield care center, reports The New York Times.
An earlier report by The Inquisitr’s Todd Rigney stated that at least five people were injured in the wreck. The 12-car crash occurred on the last lap of the Nationwide Series race, which was won by Tony Stewart.
The field approached the checkered flag when cars began to wreck. Larson’s No. 32 car went airborne during the wreck. It slammed into the catch-fence. The entire front end of the race car sheared off in the impact. Two tires and the front-end pieces landed in the stands. The engine was caught in the hole left in the fence.
No drivers were injured in the wreck, notes United Press International. Video and photos documented the wreck and its aftermath as emergency crews raced to the drivers and to attend the fans injured in the stands.
While the extend of the fans’ injuries has not been released, Chitwood stated that six of those injured were classified as trauma-level patients with serious injuries. They are all in stable condition.
NASCAR’s senior vice president for racing operations, Steve O’Donnell, stated that the damage caused by the massive Daytona crash will be repaired in time for NASCAR’s Daytona 500 Sprint Cup season opener on Sunday.
Video footage of the crash that injured 28 NASCAR fans is embedded below.