Horrific Crash at Daytona Mars First NASCAR Race of the Season

At Saturday’s Nationwide DRIVE4COPD 300 race, a horrific crash in the final lap left more than 30 NASCAR fans injured when debris assaulted the grandstands. Thankfully, nobody was killed, and two people, a child and an adult, that were initially admitted to a nearby hospital due to critical injuries are recovering.

As the pack of cars approached the checkered flag, leader Regan Smith attempted to block Brad Keselowski as Keselowski attempted to overtake Smith. Keselowski struck Smith from the rear, causing the car to go careening into the wall. The event sparked a massive pileup involving 12 stock cars, including rookie Kyle Larson, whose car was launched into the air and hit the catch fence. His engine shot out of the bay and into the stands, along with at least one tire and assorted metal bits. Near the front of the pack, Tony Stewart managed to avoid most of the wreck occurring behind him and slide through to clinch the win, although he decided to forgo the usual victory celebration in light of the accident.

The inaugural race of the Nationwide series is held the day before the Daytona 500, the first and most prestigious race of the Sprint Cup Series season. Repairs to the damaged section of the track were completed quickly in anticipation of the Daytona 500.

Watch a fan-made video of the wreck and the resulting debris in the grandstands here:

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About Cameron Rogers

Cameron Rogers is the founder and lead writer at Downshift Autos, the only automotive blog on the Internet*. Born in the back of an AMC Gremlin, Cameron vowed to never let this extraordinarily embarrassing detail define him, so help him God. He drives a GTI but absolutely will not shut up about it if somebody asks. He will not hesitate to let people know that no, they shouldn't get a Porsche 911 when a Morgan 3 Wheeler is so obviously the superior choice. He is obsessed with the seats of a Carrera GT and the steering wheel of a Fisker Karma. He once sat in the driver's seat of a Tesla Model S, his greatest accomplishment to date. He is just now realizing that writing an autobiography, however miniscule, in the third person is odd and unnerving. *As of this writing, Cameron has been informed that there are, in fact, many websites and blogs centered around cars and car culture. He regrets his grievous error.

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