NASCAR continues Daytona crash investigation
March 26, 2013, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
The investigation into a last-lap crash at Daytona International Speedway that resulted in injuries to at least 28 fans has yet to be completed, according to NASCAR officials and those affiliated with the 2.5-mile facility.
The car of development driver Kyle Larson was launched into the catchfence along the frontstretch on the final lap of the Drive4COPD 300, and debris from Larson’s car was thrown into the grandstands.
Larson, making his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with Turner Scott Motorsports, was not injured in the violent crash that saw the engine torn from his No. 32 Chevrolet and lodge in the fencing near the finish line.
Following the Feb. 23 race, NASCAR officials transported Larson’s car to the sanctioning body’s research and development center in Concord, N.C., for further study.
Officials with the speedway also launched an investigation into the fencing in the days following the accident.
“As far as the accident at Daytona, we’re still in the middle of it and trying to see how everything falls together,” Wayne Auton, NASCAR Nationwide Series director, said March 26.
Thus far, he said, a determination has not been made as to whether changes will be required before the series returns to the facility later this year.
“As we do at any venue that we go to, if we see that any changes need to be made, then we’ll check into it,” he said.
Repairs to the fencing were completed prior to the running of the following day’s Daytona 500, the season-opening points event for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. According to track president Joie Chitwood, only a single crossover gate damaged in the accident could not be replaced due to time constraints.
Lenny Santiago, Senior Director of Public Relations for Daytona International Speedway, said the track’s examination of the fencing and whether modifications might be necessary was also yet to be completed.
“We are working with an outside engineering firm,” Santiago said via e-mail, “to help us determine what, if any changes we should implement going forward.”
A representative with Turner Scott Motorsports said it is also the organization’s understanding that the investigation has not been completed at this time.
Comments are currently unavailable. We’re working on the development of a NASCAR fan forum – please stay tuned.