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Smith takes blame for Daytona smash

Regan Smith has admitted that it was his attempt to block Brad Keselowski that sparked Saturday's scary Daytona accident.
"My fault," conceded JR Motorports driver Regan Smith as the dust settled on one of the most violent accidents seen at Daytona International Speedway in recent years.

Smith had been leading Tony Stewart on the final run to the finish of the Drive4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race when Brad Keselowski tried a move around the outside, and Smith had reacted to head him off.

"I threw a block, I'll take the blame for it," Smith said. "I knew coming off 4 I was going to have to throw a block ... When you see the chequered flag at Daytona, you're going to block, and you're going to do everything you can to be the first car back to the stripe.

“You gotta do what you gotta do. You gotta go for it. Brad's a good friend. He pushed me to the front, and we're both wanting the race," Smith told ESPN after the race. "That's a product of the tandem racing. Brad knew he was going to make a move. And that was all there was to it.

“If I had to [do it again], yeah absolutely. You're coming to the chequered at Daytona, it doesn't matter if it's a Nationwide race or a kart race, you want to win here," he admitted. “I couldn't play it any different other than to just concede second place, and I wasn't going to do that today. Our guys work really hard on these race cars all year long, and our job is to put them in a position to win. It was, and it didn't work out.

"Certainly want to do the same thing tomorrow. If I'm in the same position tomorrow, I'll do the exact same thing," he insisted. "It just didn't work out today. Just hoping everything is okay, everyone who was in the wreck and all the fans."

The accident ended up launching Kyle Larson's car into the air where it impacted the catchfence. The engine block tore through the fencing and scattered debris into the spectator area nearest the track, and one tyre was thrown into the air and landed in seating some 20 rows up. Medics attended casualties in both areas as circuit officials cleared the grandstands.

Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood issued an official statement on Saturday evening regarding the crash. "First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with our race fans," he said.

"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 14 were treated at our on-track care center," he continued. "We are in the process of repairing the facility, and we will be ready to go racing tomorrow [Sunday.]"




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)
Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 Cargill Ford, leads the start 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)
Mike Wallace, driver of the #01 G&K Services/Flex Seal Chevrolet, spins out following an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #33 Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet, poses with the trophy after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood holds a news conference with NASCAR Nationwide Series President Steve O`Donnell (not pictured) after an incident on the last lap of the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood holds a news conference with NASCAR Nationwide Series President Steve O`Donnell after an incident on the last lap of the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane with team owner Dale Earnhardt jr. after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship after the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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lynnN

February 27, 2013 1:37 AM

Regan only done what all drivers do at Daytona and Talladega. I think it is great of him to man up and admitt it and I know there is noone that feels worse about it happening than him other than those that were hurt. BEST WISHES TO ALL THOSE FAN THAT WAS HURT AND GET WELL SOON. I guess on the bright side if there is one is that not many fans can say the get to carry a battle scar from the Datona 500. Just joking guys and ladis that were injuried, very glad is wasn't worse

Michael Groves - Unregistered

February 24, 2013 4:13 PM

I'm no fan of brad but to say he could've lifted you clearly have never raced before! He was gunning for the win, Smith shouldn't have moved across as much as he did when he did! Best thing he could've done was move the other way and leave brad cast adrift, instead he took the brainless option and moved across on a quickly advancing car! Some would say he's defending his position, but in pack bumpdraft racing like NASCAR restrictor plate races you simply can't do that!



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