Daytona officials detail response

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Rea White

Rea White has been covering NASCAR full time since 1998. She has won awards from press agencies in Alabama and North Carolina and formerly served as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow her on Twitter.



Daytona International Speedway officials spent Saturday night working with those injured in Saturday afternoon’s crash during the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the track.

Fans were injured when Kyle Larson’s car was spun into the 22-foot catch fence surrounding the track as drivers battled for the win down the frontstretch. The car’s suspension and tires went into the fence, with a tire appearing to sail over the fence and land in the grandstands.

Halifax Medical Center released a statement Sunday regarding those injured.

"Halifax Health received 12 patients from the Daytona International Speedway. Seven were admitted due to injuries sustained in the car crash incident. As of 10:00 a.m., February 24, 2013, five patients had been released from Halifax Health. The remaining patients have all been stabilized and are being treated for their injuries."

In addition, the medical center stated, all six of those brought to the hospital’s Port Orange location had been released.

Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood said Sunday morning that some of the patients treated at various facilities had been aided by the speedway as they were released overnight.

According to the speedway, 14 were transported to local hospitals and 14 were treated on site.

“I just want to reiterate how important our fans are to us,” Chitwood said Sunday morning before the Sprint Cup Series' Daytona 500. “As we continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers, we had our guest services team dispatched to Halifax and other medical institutions last night.”

Chitwood said that his group was helping patients as they were released.

“We helped all of those released from the medical care to get reunited to family and friends, personal items, cars,” he said. “We transported some of our fans back to Orlando. Throughout the night, we were making sure those released were getting proper care from us as it relates to getting connected back to everyone.”

Nationwide crash at Daytona


A scary wreck marred the end of the NASCAR's Nationwide race at Daytona. See photos.

Chitwood added that some of those released planned to return to the track for Sunday’s race.

“Some of the patients who were released late last night and early this morning will be coming back to attend the event, and we're going to make sure they've got good accommodations to enjoy the event,” he said. “That was a key on some of the guests that were released; they wanted to make sure they could come back to the race today.”

While the track will continue to work with the injured fans, it is also addressing those on site Sunday.

If fans are uncomfortable with their seating assignments for the Daytona 500, he said they can be moved.

“Our guest service team is prepared throughout the entire venue. If fans are unhappy with ... their seating location or if they have any incidents, we would relocate them,” he said. “So we'll treat that area like we do every other area of the grandstand. If a fan is not comfortable where they're sitting, we make every accommodation we can.”

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