Article

Fans hurt as car sails into crowd at Daytona

24 February 2013 02:48

A horror crash on the final corner of a NASCAR race at Daytona on Saturday has left at least 15 spectators injured.

The crash sent Kyle Larson's car airborne into safety fencing and flying debris injured a group of fans.

Two people were critically injured, with one undergoing surgery for head trauma.

The wreck, which occurred almost as Tony Stewart was taking the chequered flag for victory, appeared to begin when Regan Smith was turned sideways and took several competitors behind him in a pack.

Larson, making his first start in the NASCAR stock car second-tier series, then sailed into safety fencing which surrounds the track.

Larson's car tore a hole in the fence, and the entire front portion of the car sheared off with at least one tyre and other debris flying into the stands.

"Our prayers and thoughts are with everybody they are working on," NASCAR president Mike Helton said.

"Right now, it's just a function of trying to determine what all damage is done."

Another crash, involving 11 cars, took place with five laps left, with driver Michael Annett taken to hospital after hitting a barrier.

"We've always known since racing started this is a dangerous sport," Helton said.

"As much as we want to celebrate, I'm more concerned about the fans and the drivers right now."

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