NASCAR to review safety in wake of Nationwide crash
Auto Racing Videos
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR officials said Sunday that no other injuries were reported following a last-lap accident during the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday.
However, track president Joie Chitwood said there's a possibility that other spectators may have sustained injuries aside from the 28 treated at the trackside care center and off-sight medical centers.
According to a statement by Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, seven of 12 patients were admitted “due to injuries sustained in the car crash incident.” Five patients were released, and the remaining patients all have been stabilized and are being treated for injuries.
Additionally, six patients were taken to Halifax Health–Medical Center of Port Orange. All have been treated and released.
“We physically transported 14 customers from our property to medical facilities, and we saw 14 individuals at our first aid and care centers,” said Chitwood, who declined to comment on the condition of the spectators because of privacy laws. “Those individuals were released, but there may have been other individuals who self-admit (to area medical facilities).
“We helped all those who were released from medical care to get reunited with family and friends. We transported some fans back to their hotels in Orlando.”
Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR'S vice president of racing operations, said the governing body for Sprint Cup and Nationwide is investigating how the catch fence was breached after a 12-car crash along the front stretch resulted in Kyle Larson's car catapulting into the catch fence near the start-finish line.
The 22-foot high catch fence was repaired in time for Sunday's Daytona 500. But the cross-over gate — along with a steel fence post, which may have played a role in shearing in half Larson's car — wasn't replaced, partly because it could not have been done before the start of the race.
“Our fans are first and foremost for us to have an exciting and safe experience at the track, so that's what we're going to continue to look at,” O'Donnell said. “Obviously, we want everybody to be safe at the event. Certainly, (we are) still thinking about those affected.”
Chitwood said track personnel met with NASCAR officials early Sunday morning to review the repairs to the catch fence where debris from Larson's wrecked car scattered into the lower and upper levels of the grandstand.
“We're confident with the repairs put in place,” O'Donnell said. “It will be an ongoing process with us for the racetrack. We have a research and development center in Concord, N.C., that specializes in looking at things like that.”
Chitwood said many of the safety measures at Daytona International Speedway were made, in part, because of a violent crash involving Carl Edwards at Talladega Superspeedway in 2009. He said no consideration was made in closing some areas of the front stretch where more than 100,000 spectators were seated.
“Following the 2009 incident, we brought in a structural engineering firm to view all of our safety fencing,” Chitwood said. “We actually took the recommendations they made and installed new fencing prior to the 2010 season. We felt like we've done everything as it relates to protocol and making sure we were prepared for (Saturday's) incident.”
O'Donnell said NASCAR also will review what happened to Larson's car. He said every piece will be examined, what came off and what didn't, and why.
“I think for the most part the car held up,” McDonnell said. “The tethers held up. Obviously, we can always learn. When a car gets up into the fence, that's something we have to take back and analyze everything we can. We'll do just that, and the process has started.
“The Gen-6 car was developed based on the Car of Tomorrow, which took safety first and foremost into account. Anything we learned was put into the Gen-6 car. We'll continue to evaluate that if we can.”
“As the cars are coming to the checkered flag, obviously people are not letting off the gas,” O'Donnell added. “Speed plays into this. We'll look at that, speeds versus maybe where they were under caution with somebody spinning.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Hills couple dismembered in their home; son in custody
- Penguins testing Fleury, Maatta, Bortuzzo for mumps
- Steelers lookahead: Chiefs’ Charles injured but remains dangerous threat
- Harmar developer sells 15 hotels in Western Pa., West Virginia
- Pa. attorney general charges 10 in ‘massive fraud, kickback scheme’ at PennDOT
- Ex-Pittsburgh mayoral candidate back in jail
- Former Charlotte coach to lead Riverhounds
- Penguins defenseman Letang having best season in new system
- Pitt coach Chryst expected to take Wisconsin job
- Executive says Century III revival plan remains on track
- Replacement attorney named to represent daughter in Scaife trust dispute