Despite the horrific crash that injured 30 NASCAR fans during a the crash that sent Kyle Larson’s car airborne yesterday, the Daytona 500 will go off as planned.
The accident occurred as the field closed in on the finish line and ended up sending the rookie’s car flying over the fence separating the track from the spectator seats, where large chunks of it landed in the grandstand, as the front end of the car sheared off, with the burning engine wedged through a gaping hole in the fence. One of the tires landed midway up the midsection.
Luckily, there were no fatalities, although Speedway president Joie Chitwood said 14 fans were treated on site and the rest were taken to hospitals in Halifax.
“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with our race fans,” Chitwood stated, adding that repairs were underway and the facility would be ready for the big race.
In fact, fans will be seated in the same seats along the front stretch that were littered with pieces of Larson’s car. However, Steve O’Donnell, vie president of NASCAR’s said that the damaged cross-over gate which allows people to enter the stands would not be replaced because of time constraints.
This is the third time in four years that the track needed major repairs on Daytona 500 weekend. Last year Juan Pablo Montoya slammed into a jet drying igniting a raging fire that caused a 2-hour delay. The race was also delayed for 2 hours in 2010 because of a major pothole.
For those of you who missed it, yesterday’s Nationwide race was won by Tony Stewart, who will do his best today for a repeat victory in today's big race.
Note: Despite engine failure which knocked Danica Patrick out of yesterday’s Nationwide after only 30 laps (long before the crash), the “Queen of NASCAR” is all set to lead the field to the green flag today, the first woman ever to achieve pole in Daytona 500 history.
Fort a related article see http://www.examiner.com/article/danica-dominates-at-daytona-patrick-beco...
Editor’s note: For those of you who missed it, yesterday’s Nationwide race was won by Tony Stewart.