Racecars can always crash, but when
fans are involved, that’s when the
big questions need to be asked
Following the last-lap crash in the
NASCAR Nationwide Series race at
Daytona International Speedway, Feb. 23,
that left 28 people requiring medical
treatment, racetrack safety has again
come under the spotlight.
16 SPRING 2013
Danica Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the 2013
Daytona 500 eclipsed the previous best by a woman
– Janet Guthrie’s 11th in the 1980 “Great American
Race.” Guthrie (LEFT) posted a best top-tier NASCAR
finish of sixth at Bristol Motor Speedway in 1977.
In the aftermath of the accident, repairs
the No. 32 car.
would unquestionably spoil spectators’
sightlines as well as making the fences
less absorbent, ricocheting rather than
absorbing the energy of a flying car.
Equally, the age-old adage that “it says
it’s dangerous on the back of the ticket”
has no credibility in the modern age,
when motorsports is in competition for
the general entertainment dollar.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s vp of
competition said: “If we can improve
[safety], we will put those improvements
in place as soon as we can. But we need
to take the time to really study it. The
safety of our fans is first and foremost.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The wreck occurred
when race leader
Regan Smith blocked
Brad Keselowski on
the run to the line.
The pair touched
and got out of shape.
Their lost momentum
caused Sam Hornish
to tap Keselowski,
sending him up the
track and into Kyle