NASCAR Crash Leaves 33 Spectators Injured [VIDEO]
A NASCAR race at the Daytona International Speedway on Saturday ended in a dramatic crash that left 33 people injured, two in critical condition.
The 12-car crash occurred as the drivers were nearing the finish line in the Nationwide Series race that was won by Tony Stewart. It was ultimately caused by Regan Smith's attempt to block Brad Keselowski (pictured above) for the win. When the cars collided and began pirouetting down the racetrack, rookie Kyle Larson’s car defied gravity, launching up into the catch-fence. Debris from his car, including two tires and the engine, flew over the fence marring spectators. When the No. 32 car fell back down onto the track, its front was entirely missing.
A total of 14 people were taken to nearby Florida hospitals to be treated for injuries, Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood told the New York Times. Fourteen other spectators were treated at an infield care center located at the track. None of the twelve drivers involved in the crash sustained any injuries.
"The important thing is what is going on on the front stretch right now," Stewart told CBS News. "We've always known, and since racing started, this is a dangerous sport. But it's hard. We assume that risk, but it's hard when the fans get caught up in it.”
NASCAR’s Daytona 500 race commenced on Sunday despite Saturday’s events on the same track. In order to have the track ready for the Super Bowl of motorsports, track workers stayed late into the night to repair the gaping holes in the fence surrounding the track. While some fans have expressed some trepidation returning to their lower level seats, others see crashes as just another part of the sport. "Real NASCAR fans ain't scared," avid fan Zeb Daniels told ABC News. "If we see anything coming to the fence, we'll hit the floor and pray."
Watch a spectator's video of the crash below:
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