*Update #1 Feb. 23 (2:55 P.M. PST) - Confirmed 15 spectators injured. Live coverage on Speed channel. There is no official press confrence from NASCAR scheduled. Fan actually caught video of crash debris landing right next to him!
*Update #2 Feb. 24 (12:25 A.M. PST) - Reports say 2 fans in critical condition have now been stabilized w/ no life-threatening injuries. Race to resume as planned Sunday with repairs to the fence to go on through the night.
At the final lap of the Nationwide Drive4COPD 300 in Daytona Beach,FLA today (Feb.23,2013) vehicular carnage ensued as leader #7 Regan Smith was pushed from behind causing a chain effect of crashes at the finish line (see video below).
The #20 car driven by Kyle Larson violently flipped into the air causing the front half of his car to be violently ripped off. Unfortunately several pieces of his engine (as well as debris from other cars), a tire, and hot fuel made its way into the grandstands, hitting several spectators. It has been reported that several spectators got caught up in the debris that spilled over and Mike Helton, President of NASCAR, confirmed that several fans were airlifted to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach to be treated for injuries.
One driver, #43 Micheal Annett of Richard Petty Motorsports was airlifted away due to injuries and according to NASCAR writer Bob Pockrass,
“is awake and alert, undergoing tests”
Minutes after news of the crash hit the internet, thousands of NASCAR fans and critics took to Twitter criticizing the safety of NASCAR’s catch fences as well as somberly pointing out that fans who purchases a ticket enters into an agreement with NASCAR that they fully understand the risks associated with attending an event.