NASCAR Show Goes On After Dozens Injured

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 24 2013 11:03 AM

NASCAR Faces Questions on Fan Safety After Accident Injures Dozens

Kyle Larson's Chevrolet goes airborne during Saturday's race, crashing into the catch fence and sending debris from the car into the crowd

Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images

The Daytona 500—often called the Super Bowl of motorsports—will go on as planned Sunday, even though NASCAR officials still have plenty of explaining to do about the massive pile-up on Saturday that sent car debris, including a tire, flying into the crowd, injuring 28 fans. There was also lots of cleanup to take care of before Sunday’s race, and track workers quickly repaired a section of the fence that separates fans from the track around 200 feet from the start-finish line, reports the Associated Press. Although NASCAR said 28 people were injured, of which 14 were treated on site, the AP hears from local officials that 19 people were taken to neighboring hospitals.

Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood vowed that there would be a safety review of the fencing, reports USA Today. "We don't anticipate moving any fans," Chitwood said. This morning, Chitwood emphasized that if any fans would rather not be close to the fence during the Daytona 500, officials would work to find them alternate seating. Sunday’s race was already enjoying higher-than-usual attention due to the presence of Danica Patrick as the first woman starting from pole position.


Saturday’s wreck, which involved 12 cars, happened after Regan Smith, who was leading the race, tried to block another driver. "I threw a block there," Smith said. "I knew Brad [Keselowski] was going to try to make a move on me. ... If I'm in the same situation tomorrow [in the Daytona 500], I'll do the same thing again." After the crash, NASCAR tried to block a fan video depicting the crash from YouTube, claiming it was doing so out of respect for the injured, reports the Verge. (Watch the video after the jump.) YouTube initially took down the video but later reversed its decision.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.