A truly horrifying crash at Saturday's Daytona race has left at least 11 NASCAR fans injured. According to the Associated Press, large chunks of debris landed in the grandstands after a car flew into the fence during a multi-car crash just before the final lap of the race.

The awful mess started when Regan Smith's car was turned sideways as he was coming into the checkered flag. This caused many other cars to crash, sending Kyle Larson's No. 32 car into the fence that separates the track from the grandstands. The car itself was damaged quite badly, the entire front end torn off and the burning engine wedged in a hole in the fence.

Driver Tony Stewart slid past the wreckage to take the win at the Nationwide Series race, but skipped the usual post-victory celebration. "As much as we want to celebrate right now and as much as this is a big deal to us, I'm more worried about the drivers and the fans that are in the stands right now because that was ... I could see it all in my mirror, and it didn't look good from where I was at," Stewart told a reporter.

A spokesperson from Volusia County told the Associated Press that six people with serious injuries were taken by ambulance to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, saying that those victims "met the condition of trauma patients." No official word has been given on the condition of other victims, nor has a final injury count been released.

This tragic event will no doubt put a dark cloud over Sunday's Daytona 500 race. Scroll down to see a video of the horrific crash.

UPDATE: A day after the accident, the injury toll has been raised to 33, with two of the victims said to be in critical condition. Check out this Associated Press video report on USA Today and this WOFL Fox 35 report.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 72 Comments
      Andrew L
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was there today but thankfully in a different section. Hope everyone is ok!
      Jonathan Wayne
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not a Nascar fan, don't watch it, but I have to admit that is a pretty impressive feat of engineering to be able to stop a car flying at 200 mph from going through that fence. Damn. I could not imagine being one of those people and watching that car coming straight at me. You look at that and realize that those people that stand right on the side of the road for those rally races where the cars pass within inches of them have to be insane.
        Israel Isassi
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jonathan Wayne
        and the driver was able to climb out of the car without help, and not require any medical attention other than the mandatory checkup.
      Joe
      • 1 Year Ago
      My god, the 32 car scored a full speed direct hit on the catch fence. And the guy walked away, a few years ago this wreck would have easily been fatal. Actually hell, if that front tire had gone any further up someone would have been killed. I hope everyone is okay!
      montegod7ss
      • 1 Year Ago
      Still the most dangerous thing any spectator did that day was drive to the race. Going skydiving is safer than the actual drive to the airport to go skydiving. People freak out about accidents like this, when they are surrounded by death every single day on the roads. Stop being such sissies and realize you can't legislate out danger. It doesn't work in gun control, public streets, or race cars.
        audisp0rta4
        • 1 Year Ago
        @montegod7ss
        THANK YOU!!! Your common sense is quite uncommon these days.
      gtv4rudy
      • 1 Year Ago
      The fans sit too close to the track. It's time Nascar woke up to realize that a disaster can happen at 200 mph and have spectators sit 10 to 20 feet from the track can sometimes be deadly.
        misterbertram
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gtv4rudy
        yea, lets move back from the intense action so we're safe. even though we can barely see anything, at least were safe. yeaaaa, riiiiiiiight. im sure that'll work out just fine.
          gtv4rudy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @misterbertram
          You already don't see anything sitting near the bottom close to the track. Why do you think people stand all day watching the damn race. I don't think you ever been to a race by the sounds of it.
          Stephen Middlehurst
          • 1 Year Ago
          @misterbertram
          How on EARTH can you say this on an article with a crash that ended up with a tyre landing 11 rows into the stands? It's an absolute miracle that no-one was killed. Yes, there will always be an element of danger to watching motorsport live, there's no way around that. Cars can crash in odd ways and things happen that just can't be predicted ahead of time. But NASCAR has pack racing at around 200mph and a culture that encourages shall we say physical racing. Crashes like this will happen and no safety fence in the world will ever work 100% of the time. Practically every other race series in the world has woken up and moved spectators back and/or away from those areas most likely to be in the line of fire. Time for oval circuits to do the same...
          Narom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @misterbertram
          Let the idiots who sit closest have their seats, let others sit in safety. Darwanism.
      Brian
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's still safer to watch NASCAR than rally racing. I enjoy them both though.
      Randy915
      • 1 Year Ago
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYxUIdRitfk
      ShutoSteve
      • 1 Year Ago
      Today's safety precautions and technologies allow for safer racing, which means less likelihood of a fatality. Had this been even ten years ago, numerous people may have been dead. We should all be glad no one was killed through the happenings of this wreck, whether directly or indirectly. That being said, why anyone would pay to go see a NASCAR race is beyond me. I went when I was a kid. With a drunken crowd, the brash stupidity of most fans, the deafness of your ears, and the same car doing 500 laps, with the most exciting thing being a pass every 2 minutes and some random shards of CF flying around, NASCAR truly is horrible.
        A.J.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ShutoSteve
        Don't hate. You don't have to watch. The fans (myself included) find it very exciting.
        windexsunday
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ShutoSteve
        Be sure to post your contact information. That way, instead of people deciding for themselves what they like to watch, they can simply ask you, the all knowing jackhole, what is worthy of their time.
          ShutoSteve
          • 1 Year Ago
          @windexsunday
          Would you like a teddy bear? Poor child, you seem upset about something...
          Chayil
          • 1 Year Ago
          @windexsunday
          I agree. ShutoSteve should shut up. What a stupid comment.
          ShutoSteve
          • 1 Year Ago
          @windexsunday
          My stupid comment is accurate. There are no anomalies, or discrepancies. This is fact by fact, what occurs at a NASCAR race. If any comment of mine is stupid, it's my teddy bear comment. But then again, I don't call people Jackholes, so I'm not too bothered by it, and it could be a lot worse.
        MChang
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ShutoSteve
        My sentiments exactly shutosteve.
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 1 Year Ago
      Im surprised these cars do not have airbags. Maybe it wouldn't do much good in a 195 mph crash.
        RampantFury
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NY EVO X MR GUY
        How many race cars with airbags have YOU seen?
        johnnythemoney
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NY EVO X MR GUY
        6 point seat belts, head and arms restrains, Hans devices, race approved helmets and many more devices make airbags pretty much useless on race cars. Indeed you need them on road cars because your body/head has quite some room for movement, and when subject to a high deceleration, it can gain so much energy to cause some serious injuries when hitting the steering wheel/windshield, etc. Since you can't avoid the deceleration itself, it's a good idea to avoid so much free movement, see seat belts as a start. Enormous crumple zones to gradually reduce speed are out of question as well. Also, if you think about it, the driver needs to exit the car as soon as possible in many cases either because other cars may be coming or because his car just caught fire. Regardless of the fact that in most racing cars removing the steering wheel is quite essential on getting out of the car, an emptying airbag would definitely be something problematic to handle. Also, at what sort of deceleration do you trigger the airbag? In some cases the car may hit something but still be drivable to be directed outside of the racing line or even driven back to the pits to be repaired, again something you can't do with an empty airbag hanging on you steering wheel.
        A.J.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NY EVO X MR GUY
        I'm actually not sure how much safer they could be. The last fatal accident in one of the three major NASCAR series was in 2001. In the 12 years since then, assuming approximately 36 races a year in three different series, we're looking at almost 1,300 races. Factor in the multiple practices and qualifying runs, as well as the non-race-related practices and test sessions. Then remember that there are usually multiple wrecks per race, and multiple drivers involved in wrecks per race. Looking at tall that, it's pretty astounding that there haven't been any fatalities since then. Really it's a pretty awesome feat in engineering.
      xspeedy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just make that fence a solid wall all the way up. Nothing to see anyway.
        RearSlip
        • 1 Year Ago
        @xspeedy
        ^Someone who has never been to a stock car race.
          A.J.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @RearSlip
          @xspeedy - No need to hate on other forms of motorsports just because you prefer a certain one.
      Dane Grant
      • 1 Year Ago
      Only one tooth was lost though... but that tooth was 57% of the teeth present in the grandstand....
      Bud
      • 1 Year Ago
      Any NASCAR oval is an accident waiting to happen with a car going through that rudimentary catch-fencing. We used to say "Why are NASCAR cars so heavy" ? (I mean Lead or Tungsten ballast blocks in the frame rails) and we would answer " Because NASCAR wanted a bigger accident, that would travel around the track further, in front of more spectators" - It is ridiculous why NASCAR's vehicles are so heavy and not using modern Carbon/Kevlar materials with proper wheel, knuckles and suspension arm tethers. - NASCAR only reacts when someone gets killed, stupid, stupid, way to manage a series - I hope the victims and there relatives sue the ass off these NASCAR old fart clowns who run the series.
        Brent98
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bud
        There have been several incidents in Indy car where their much lighter cars have become airborne and collided with the catch fence, the crash that ended kenny brack's career and Dan Wheldon's fatal accident are examples. Tires killed spectators at Michigan speedway and Charlotte motor speedway in open wheel events. Several fire marshals have been killed in F1 races due to flying debris and Alan McNish's crash at Le Mans in 2011 was a very close call and many track personnel were at risk. All these cars weigh much less than a stock car. Yes when a stock car gets airborne it can cause more damage, but lighter cars are more likely to get airborne and ultimately, I dont want to get hit even by the tiniest shard of carbon fiber if it is traveling 200 mph. The catch fence may be a woefully inadequate solution to prevent debris going into the stands, and fans probably do sit too close and some race tracks, but this is not just a NASCAR problem, all series have had issues. The Auto racing sanctioning bodies, NASCAR among them, have done an outstanding job in improving driver safety in the last 10-20 years, its time for them to look into the safety of fans and other personnel at the race track.
          Bud
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Brent98
          Brent - I appreciate your considered response, but in most major areas it is inaccurate. Please cite when a recent track marshal has been injured in F1 ? - I don't recall ? Dan Weldon's accident was an " airborne launch" due to wheels of two different cars running over each over and nothing to do to aero at all. Track marshals at risk in the case of McNish accident is a darn sight different than them being hit/injured, and with adequate run off area's this was avoided. If this was a NARCAR race at the Glen for example it could have been a different situation. Lighter cars are not more likely to get airborne - and I wondered when I posted if anyone would try and make the connection to mass/weight as being a factor of keeping cars wheels on the track. It doesn't. Proper aero packages and design are the largest contributor. Mass/weight is always the enemy of safety of any race car, along with velocity....I would contend that NASCAR has done an abysmal job at driver safety over the last 20 years, otherwise modern materials, for example in the seats, would be mandated along with deformable structures in the cars to attenuate the crash impulse to the driver. This along with American foot head injuries, tendancy to not do anything and hope no body notices is a dreadful way to lead a sport... I might refer you to work conducted by Delta Motorsports. http://delta-motorsport.com/our-services/motorsport/ FIA Institute of Safety Delta was chosen to complete a safety analysis of the behaviour of Le Mans Prototype class race cars during accidents where their attitude approaches 90° yaw. The study was commissioned after a number of high speed incidents resulted in cars flipping over during a spin, Delta was awarded the contract by the motorsports governing body as an independent to manufacturers such as Audi, Peugeot and Honda. The study used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to evaluate the aerodynamic effects on a closed and open cockpit car during turning, new parts were developed to prevent the cars from flipping and made a mandatory requirement for all manufacturers.
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