UPDATE: One of the two people critically injured is a child, according to Daytona Beach public information officer Jimmie Flynt.
UPDATE: At a Saturday evening press conference, officials from NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway said at least 28 fans were injured and two fans were in critical condition. NASCAR will run the Daytona 500 on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway to begin the 2013 Sprint Cup season.
UPDATE: Michael Annett, a driver for Richard Petty Motorsports, is currently being treated at the Halifax Health Medical Center and will be kept for observation. Richard Petty Motorsports, in a statement, said Annett was transported to the hospital after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum and is being treated for bruising on his chest. He underwent a CT Scan.
UPDATE: ESPN reports 15 fans have been transported to local hospitals, with one fan en route to surgery due to head trauma.
A NASCAR race car split in half and parts from it flew into the grandstands after a horrific and massive wreck on the last lap of Saturday’s Nationwide race at Daytona. The driver of the No. 32 car, Kyle Larson, was released from the medical center, but there may be fans who were seriously injured.
NASCAR President Mike Helton told ESPN that fans have been taken to the care center on the track and a local hospital.
Tony Stewart, who also is an owner in addition to a track operator, deftly maneuvered through the chaos to win the race, but he–along with the rest of NASCAR nation–was more concerned about the fans after the race. Larson’s engine got past multiple protective barriers and parts of it may have flown into the stands.
“We’ve always known this is a dangerous sport, but it’s hard when the fans get caught up in it,” Stewart said in a post-race interview after he got out of his car on Victory Lane. “As much as we want to celebrate, I’m more concerned about the fans and the drivers right now. There’s no easy solution on these tracks.”
Video and photos (Associated Press) of the wreck are below.