That’s about the only word that comes to mind after reading about the horrendous crash on the Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2013 during the Nationwide Series. Fourteen of those fans had to be carted off to the hospital for medical assistance. Fortunately, by the evening hours, the fans’ conditions were upgraded from “critical.”
During the final lap of the race, Kyle Larson’s car was launched into the air as part of the 12-car crash, shearing off the front end. The debris from Larson’s car flew through the catch-fence and into the stands, injuring many people, including children. His burning engine went through a gaping hole in the fence while a tire cleared the fence and landed in the grandstand, injuring fans.
The big question of the day is, are fans really safe at the Speedway if car parts are able to fly through the catch-fence. The catch-fence apparently doesn’t have the ability to catch debris, nor fence-in the debris, causing NASCAR spectators to be in danger every single race. I guess “catch-fence” is just a name but doesn’t actually describe its function.
The thing that boggles my mind even more is that the Daytona International Speedway president, Joie Chitwood III, mentioned that crews were going to be fixing part of the damage to get ready for Sunday’s NASCAR season opener, the Daytona 500, but fans will not be moved from the damaged area. So, after what happened on the eve of the big season opener with 28 fans being injured from flying car parts, the entire damaged area is NOT going to get fully fixed AND fans will not be moved.
Is money all that important for NASCAR that safety has to take a back seat? It seems that if the damage is not going to be able to get fixed overnight, that fans should be moved.
Money…it has to do with money. Danica Patrick is slated to be the first woman to ever take the pole position in a NASCAR season opener. Why else would a race continue when the damage has yet to be fixed fully?
On a final note…after Dale Earnhardt died on the Daytona Speedway in 2001, NASCAR has gone through extensive measures to make sure their drivers are safe. In yesterday’s 12-car wreck, every single driver walked away uninjured. I can’t say that NASCAR cares as much about their fans. After all, the response from Kyle Larson after the crash was, “I took a couple big hits there and saw my engine was gone. Just hope everybody’s all right.” That was it.
The race goes on as planned. Good luck, fans!