Playing the Field: NASCAR crash injures 28 spectators

Kyle Larson (32) flies into the catch fence at the end of Saturday's race. Credit: Getty Images
Kyle Larson (32) flies into the catch fence at the end of Saturday’s race.
Credit: Getty Images

Sometimes what we write about here in Playing the Field is funny or crazy. But Saturday’s final lap of the Nationwide series (essentially NASCAR’s top minor league) race at Daytona was just downright scary.

On the final lap of the DRIVE4COPD 300 Saturday afternoon rookie Kyle Larson’s car was catapulted into the catch fence, losing the front end, and spraying debris (including a tire) into the grandstand.

Regan Smith was leading as the race entered the final stretch and tried to block last year’s Sprint Cup title winner Brad Keselowski from taking the lead. As is often the case when a driver goes for the block, he gets spun into the fence. Larson was unlucky enough to be caught up from behind and spun into the fence. (Tony Stewart won the race, but very respectfully said he was more worried about the fans while in victory lane.)

There were a reported 28 fans who were injured in the accident, with 12 being taken to the hospital. Thankfully only two were injured seriously and both are in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. None of the drivers involved were injured.

You can take a look at the ugliness here:

And yes, the ESPN hosts just opened with a nonsensical line about Danica Patrick.

A NASCAR crash is nothing new, but you don’t usually see the damage spread to the spectators to the extent it did yesterday. It also is a whole new era where fans can capture everything from their seats, including this ugly wreck. NASCAR yanked down a bunch of videos from YouTube, including this one shot by a fan:

The craziest part isn’t the guy in the gray T-shirt to the left who misses the accident entirely, it the TIRE IN THE STANDS! By the way, one of those tires weighs about 50 pounds and flew off a car going nearly 200 mph. Insane.

For the record, as someone who grew up watching auto racing, this wasn’t nearly the worst crash I’ve ever seen at Daytona involving a car (or technically, in this case a truck) flying into the grandstands. I was watching Geoff Bodine in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck series race live on TV back in 2000 when his truck flew into the catch fence and exploded. I thought for sure Bodine was dead. Somehow he managed to survive with just some broken bones.

This video isn’t for the feint of heart, but thankfully no one was seriously injured in the crowd or on the track.

And that is your yearly installment of “don’t go to a NASCAR race if you want to live.”

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. Just doing this post made him legitimately very anxious.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.