Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood said 28 fans were injured at the NASCAR Nationwide race Saturday when at least 10 cars crashed as they headed to the finish line. Stewart-Haas Racing's Tony Stewart, driving a car for Richard Childress Racing, won the race as cars crashed behind him.
“First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with our race fans," Chitwood said when addressing the media Saturday night. “Following the incident we responded appropriately according to our safety protocols, and had emergency medical personnel at the incident immediately. We transported 14 people off property and treated 14 people at our on-track care center. We're in the process of repairing the facility and will be ready to go racing tomorrow.”
When pressed about the condition of the fans taken to the hospital, Chitwood said, “I'd have to refer you to Halifax for any conditions of the patients. It's not appropriate for me to comment on that.”
NASCAR rookie driver Kyle Larson’s car went airborne and into the catch fence that separates the track from the fans. The front end of Larson’s car broke loose and the engine lodged in the fence. All of the drivers involved were seen and released from the infield care center.
Daytona International Speedway personnel will work through the night to repair the fence in preparation for Sunday’s Daytona 500. Danica Patrick, who will lead the field to the green flag, drove in the Nationwide race but had gone to the garage after mechanical problems and was not on the track.