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Violent wreck mars end of Daytona Nationwide race

A huge multi-car wreck that saw one car ripped in half and debris tear through the safety fence into the crowd causing injuries to several spectators.
Tony Stewart won the DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday afternoon, but pit lane celebrations were subdued and overshadowed by a shocking accident on the final lap of the race that led to injuries of more than two dozen fans in the grandstands.

14 were treated at the Speedway, and another 14 transported to local hospital facilities. Six of these are described as serious, including two in critical condition with one said to be in need of surgery for head trauma and another described as a minor. All were subsequently listed by the hospitals as being stable.

"We've always known since racing was started this was a dangerous sport, but we assume that risk, and it's hard when the fans get caught up in it," Stewart told ESPN in Victory Lane.

Regan Smith was racing Tony Stewart to the finish line, the two being pushed by Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr. respectively, when Keslowski pulled his own move on Smith around the outside. Smith responded by attempting to block Keselowski but instead made contact and got his own car turned around, which ignited a massive pile-up engulfing the main pack of cars closing up from behind.

While many cars were reduced to scrap metal, it was Kyle Larson's car that was spun into the air and twisted round before making contact with one of the metal posts supporting the catchfence. The post sheered off the engine block of the car, which was itself torn in half. The engine and front assembly penetrated the catch fence into the spectator area, while one tyre was thrown into the air and landed some 20 rows up the main grandstand.

Medics rushed to treat injured fans, with several carried away on backboards to local hospitals. Medical helicopters landed on a now-cleared pit road to assist with the treatment and transporting casualties to hospital.

NASCAR itself did not have any immediate official comment. "We are currently continuing to assess the situation, taking care of those involved," explained NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp.

"We'll be able to update later on, but right now, all we know is everybody's working real hard on determining what all happened," NASCAR president Mike Helton told ESPN. "Fortunately, with the way the event's equipped up, there were plenty of emergency workers ready to go, and they jumped in on it pretty quickly."

In a subsequent press conference, NASCAR officials said that Sunday's Daytona 500 Sprint Cup race would go ahead as planned and that all necessary repairs to the fence and seating were already underway.




Related Pictures

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Danica Patrick, driver of the #34 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, leads the pack during the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Darrell Wallace Jr. , driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates after winning the Camping World Truck 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, does a burnout after winning the Camping World Truck 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates after winning the Camping World Truck 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates after winning the Camping World Truck 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart presents Darrell Wallace Jr. , driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, with the trophy after winning the Camping World Truck 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, wins the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2nd Annual 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 23, 2014 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, drive driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinios.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet, wins the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Cars race after a restart lead by Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet (L), Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet (R) during the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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ottawanker - Unregistered

February 24, 2013 2:59 AM

@shaken The Daytona 500 is tomorrow (Sunday), this was the Nationwide race and it took place today (Saturday). The Nationwide cars are similar to the Nextel Cup cars that race in the Daytona 500. The Nationwide series is sort of a feeder series to the main Nextel series. There is also a truck series, the Camping World series, and they had a race Friday night at the same track.



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