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Smith takes blame for Daytona smash

Seven injured fans went to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, and six to nearby Halifax Health in Port Orange. A spokesman from Halifax Health said that all but two of their patients had been discharged by Sunday afternoon. The status of the two remaining patients previously listed in critical condition after the accident had been upgraded overnight and they were now said to be stable. The other injured fan had been taken to Florida Hospital Memorial Center, but a spokesman there would not disclose the patient's condition.

In the circumstances there was understandably little appetite for celebration in victory lane, and drivers were also steadfastly avoiding playing the blame game.

Brad Keselowski for one wasn't about to criticise Smith for the move that caused the wreck. "We made a move to try and win the race. We were in the catbird seat, Regan was in a good spot. He was first and I was second and we were pushing.

"I kind of had the run and the move to win the race, and Regan obviously tried to block it, and that's understandable. He wants to win too, and at the end it just caused chaos.

"I really hope everyone in the grandstands is okay, I think that's the most important thing right now," Keselowski added. "There was obviously a big wreck with a lot of debris and cars torn up."

"It happens on the last lap,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was involved in the wreck himself and is also the car owner of Smith's #7 entry. "Always does. You can bet on it."

"We've always known since racing was started this is a dangerous sport," race winner Tony Stewart said in the winner's circle. "We assume that risk. It's hard when the fans get caught up in it."

Despite Larson's car being literally torn in half by its encounter with the catchfence, the 20-year-old Japanese-American series rookie was miraculously able to climb out and walk away from the wrecked #32. He was later examined and cleared by the medical centre, along with all the other drivers involved.

β€œIt's definitely been one I'll never forget,” the young Earnhardt-Ganassi driver said. "Yeah, it was definitely a big hit. Hopefully, I don't have another one like that in stock cars.”

For former X-Games star Travis Pastrana - now a full-time Nationwide driver with Roush Fenway Racing - it was the first time that he had been right at the heart of a Daytona 'Big One.'




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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)
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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)
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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)
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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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