Fans injured when car sails into fence at Daytona

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(AP Image)

(AP Image)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – At least 28 NASCAR have been injured by flying debris from a final-lap accident during today’s Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Large chunks of debris, including a tire, sailed into the grandstands when a car flew into the fence.

The crash began as the field closed in on the finish line and sent rookie Kyle Larson’s car sailing into the fence that separates the track from the seats.

The car had its entire front sheared off, with the burning engine wedged through a gaping hole in the fence. The accident spread into the upper deck and emergency crews treated fans on both levels.

Tony Stewart won the race, but skipped the traditional post-race celebration.

Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood says “We’ll be ready to go racing” and is confident the track will be repaired in time Sunday for the Daytona 500.

Chitwood says he doesn’t anticipate moving any fans from those affected seats for Sunday’s race. He says the fence that separates the track from the seats will be repaired. The grandstands where fans were injured are about 200 feet from the start-finish line.

This will be the third time in four years the track has needed major repairs on Daytona 500 weekend. The 2010 race was interrupted for more than two hours because of a pothole on the track. Juan Pablo Montoya slammed into a jet dryer in last year’s race that caused a raging inferno that stopped the event for two hours.

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