Fourteen fans were injured during the last lap melee that involved Kyle Larson’s car imploding as it hit the wall, going air born, throwing debris over the catchfence.
Larson’s engine pierced the fence. The debris from Larson’s car injured fourteen fans that were watching the Drive4COPD 300 Nationwide series season opener. Larson’s tire also flew into the stands, with steel pieces still connected.
Eleven fans were treated at Halifax Medical Center for injuries sustained because of the wreck, the other fans were treated at other central Florida hospitals. All fans are in stable condition.
“First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with our race fans. Following the incident we responded appropriately according to our safety protocols, and had emergency medical personnel at the incident immediately. We transported 14 people off property and treated 14 people at our on-track care center. We’re in the process of repairing the facility and will be ready to go racing tomorrow.” said Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood.
The fence will be repaired (minus the cross gate, as they will not have enough time) and will not affect the schedule for Sunday’s 55th running of the Daytona 500.
“At this point after every event, we review our property, but from an asphalt and fencing perspective. So we did that after our Duels and the truck race, we’ll do the same thing to make sure that we’re ready for tomorrow.” Chitwood said.
They also said during the conference that they will not be moving anyone’s seats around.
NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell had the following to offer.
” I think, again, we’re really early in what we’ve seen. Some of the things we have in place, tethers, that sort of thing, held up, did their job.”