Tony Stewart won today's DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona, but all anyone will remember about the race is how it ended for another driver, Kyle Larson. A massive wreck at the checkered flag sent Larson's car through the catch fence, sending debris and even the car's engine itself hurtling toward spectators.
Larson, fortunately, seemed okay. As for the spectators, it appears several were injured (scroll down for terrifying fan video of the crash as it happened):
I can see multiple stretchers being used in stands. Medics working frantically. Ugh.— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) February 23, 2013
We'll update as we hear more, and this wreck is likely to be a big part of conversation surrounding tomorrow's Daytona 500. Here's another shot of the wreck:
pit road being cleared to land helicopter at Daytona #nascar— brant james (@brantjames) February 23, 2013
And, of course, SportsCenter opened its broadcast with the latest Danica Patrick news, not the wreck:
15 spectators transported to area hospitals; 1 on the way to surgery with head trauma; no further information at this time.— NASCAR on ESPN (@ESPNNASCAR) February 23, 2013
NASCAR tried to block this very scary video taken from the stands by a spectator, but we've got a copy (originally posted by YouTube user tyler4dx):
Pic from my cameraman buddy Craig who was shooting at flagstand. He's OK - check out cam twitter.com/Noble_Jim/stat…— Jim Noble (@Noble_Jim) February 23, 2013
(6:35 p.m.): SPEED is reporting at least one fan is in critical condition.
(6:50 p.m.): WFTV has some unreal photos of the incident and the aftermath.
(7:12 p.m.): Daytona & NASCAR officials are being very tight-lipped, but say fans will be in those same seats tomorrow. SPEED reports one of the injured fans in critical condition is a child.
(8:00 p.m.): NASCAR admits wiping the video off YouTube, claims it was "out of respect for the injured":
Statement from NASCAR to Y! Sports on fan video: "The fan video of the wreck on the final lap of today's NASCAR Nationwide Series race..."— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) February 24, 2013
"...was blocked on YouTube out of respect for those injured in today's accident. Information on the status of those fans was unclear ..."— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) February 24, 2013
"...and the decision was made to err on the side of caution with this very serious incident." -Steve Phelps, NASCAR SVP/CMO.— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) February 24, 2013
(11:00 p.m.): The two fans in critical condition are considered to be stable. One fan had surgery for a head injury that was, according to ESPN, a success.