Daytona International Speedway has finally settled claims against by 9 out of more than 33 people injured when a 12- car wreck sent rookie Kyle Larson’s No. 32 car airborne midway up the spectator section nearest the track during the final lap of the Drive4COPD 300 NNS season opener February 23, 2013. The front end of Larson’s car was torn off and his burning engine became embedded in a gaping hole in the fence as debris and a tire rained down on fans. Larson, however, was not hurt. The crash was triggered when leading driver Regan Smith attempted to block Brad Keselowski overtaking him approximately 200 feet from the start/finish line as the pair approached the checkered flag.
The Daytona Speedway, which is currently undergoing a $400 million renovation has since extensively reinforced catch fencing and crossover gates in the area where the accident occurred, as well as other areas along the frontstretch. The entire project is due to be completed in time for the Daytona 500 in 2016.
In the meantime, neither Daytona’s owners International Speedway Corporation, nor Morgan and Morgan, the law firm representing the plaintiffs have disclosed details of the settlements other than to say that the matters “have been resolved amicably.” Several other cases still remain to be settled.
Note: Chip Ganassi Racing’s star rookie Kyle Larson will compete in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup events at MIS this weekend. While he is hoping to get his first Cup win and thus place his No. 42 CGR team into the Chase, he has already announced that he is about to become a first-time dad when he and girlfriend Katelyn Sweet welcome their first child around Christmastime.