Daytona 500 Will Go On Tomorrow As Scheduled, With Fans Seated In The Section Where Debris Landed Today

Though two fans are critically injured from flying debris that shot into the crowd after Kyle Larsen's crash at Daytona this afternoon, (one is reportedly a minor, the others' injuries are reportedly life-threatening), NASCAR will not significantly alter its plan for tomorrow. In a press conference that lasted about eight minutes and started an hour after originally scheduled, Daytona speedway president Joie Chitwood III and NASCAR's senior vice president for racing operations Steve O'Donnell deflected most questions about the condition of the injured fans, no doubt due in part to health information privacy laws, but said that racing would go forward tomorrow as previously scheduled.

When asked whether fans will be seated tomorrow in the sections in which debris fell today, O'Donnell responded, "We don't anticipate moving any of our fans. We had our safety protocols in place and maintained a buffer, and with the fence being prepared to our safety protocols, we expect to race tomorrow with no changes."

Chitwood said that 14 people had been transported off the property for medical care, and 14 others were treated at the on-air track center. O'Donnell noted that all drivers involved in the crash had been treated and released, and continually stressed that NASCAR reviews its protocols after each crash, and that the review process for this crash will follow the same procedure.

Advertisement

Asked to comment on the way Kyle Larson's car broke apart, O'Donnell said, "When you look at this end, there's things we can learn and evaluate and we'll take the car and do that and evaluate the fencing and see if there's anything we can learn from where gates are, but everything is initial and we need to take the time to study it and see what we can improve on. If we can, certainly—you know, the safety and concern of the fans is very, very important."