NASCAR officials, speaking at a press conference after a horrific accident on the last lap of Saturday's Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway, reiterated the Daytona 500 will go on as planned Sunday, according to Fox Sports.
33 race fans were injured Saturday when Kyle Larson's car came apart after it was involved in an accident and sprayed debris into the stands just feet from the finish line. Fans reported being hit with debris as far as the second level. Larson's car may have hit a pole attached to the "catch fence" and cut the front half of his car off. The engine and transmission of the race car became wedged in the fence after the accident.
Of the 33 fans injured 15 were treated at the scene, and 18 were transported to Halifax Medical Center with injuries ranging from non-life-threatening to critical. Officials at Halifax Medical Center said each of the patients transported there are now stable.
Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood addressed reporters shortly after the accident to say the race would go on, even though several news outlets questioned whether the race should be postponed. NASCAR fans have stated the race should go on, saying the accident was a freak occurrence.
A home video taken before the accident, and uploaded to Youtube immediately after the accident, shows the aftermath as fans helped fellow fans who were seriously injured as they awaited medical personnel. The video also shows fans helping someone who appeared to be hit by a tire that had landed in the seventh row. NASCAR officials came under fire after the video, and several others showing the aftermath, were taken down by Youtube. NASCAR released a statement saying they wanted to respect the privacy of the injured fans before allowing any videos of the incident to be uploaded to the internet.
Larson exited his mangled car after it came to rest near the finish line and was able to walk away. He was evaluated after the accident and appeared to be uninjured..