DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — With the start of the Daytona 500 just hours away, NASCAR officials still have some cleaning up to do amid growing questions about fan safety.
The season opener will go off as planned Sunday less than 24 hours after at least 33 people were injured when a car flew into the fence during a NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway, sending a tire and large pieces of debris sailing into the stands.
“Just seeing the carnage on the racetrack, it was truly unbelievable,” driver Justin Allgaier said.
The final-lap accident Saturday marred the second-tier Nationwide Series race on the eve of a spectacle often called the Super Bowl of motorsports. Late into the night, track workers were scrambling to repair a huge section of fence that separates fans from the high-speed track.
peedway President Joie Chitwood III has a news conference scheduled for Sunday morning to give the latest update on repairs and any safety changes that could be made before the “Great American Race.”
The 12-car crash began about 200 feet from the start-finish line as the front-runners approached the checkered flag. Leader Regan Smith attempted to block Brad Keselowski for the win, triggering a horrific pileup that could have been much worse.
The front end of Larson’s No. 32 car was sheared off, and his burning engine wedged through a gaping hole in the fence. Parts and pieces of his car sprayed into the stands, including a tire that cleared the top of the fence and landed midway up the spectator section closest to the track.
READ MORE ON THE STORY AT CBSSPORTS.COM