NASCAR has made repairs to the fence damaged Saturday when a racecar flew up into it injuring 28 fans. Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood told the media Sunday morning that crews worked through the night and NASCAR approved the repairs early Sunday morning.
One thing that will be different is the lack of a crossover gate. The gate snagged the car of Kyle Larson and ripped the front of it off scattering parts including the engine and a tire into the stands injuring the 28 fans. When the fence was repaired Saturday night the gate was removed.
“We just had a straight fence there,” Chitwood said. “That was based on timing of being ready to run the Daytona 500.”
Chitwood also stood by his count of 28 fans injured in the incident.
“What I can say is that we physically transported 14 customers from out property to a medical facility,” he said. “We also saw 14 individuals at out first aid or on-track care centers. Those individuals were released.”
Chitwood admitted that the overall number could be higher. However some outlets reported as many as 33 injured, but hospital spokespeople later added that some of those were fans who were taken to hospitals and treated for ailments not related to the accident.
“There could be other patients who self admit,” he said. “As it relates to numbers today, I don’t have that detail, that if another fan drove themselves to a medical facility, that they self admitted themselves based on that.”
“What I can tell you,” he added. “Is, we transported 14 customers to medical facilities and we treated 14 others at our care centers that were released. “
According to a spokesperson at Halifax Hospital, the two fans listed as critical Saturday night had been upgraded Sunday morning.
Chitwood said his hospitality staff had worked with those who were released from the hospital and those fans wanted to come to Sunday’s Daytona 500.
“We’re going to make sure they’ve got good accommodations to enjoy the event,” Chitwood said. “That was a key, some of the guests that were released, they wanted to make sure they could come back to the race today.’