Charlotte Motor Speedway officials hope to learn from Daytona cr - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Charlotte Motor Speedway officials hope to learn from Daytona crash

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CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) -

A horrible last lap crash Saturday at Daytona during the Nationwide race sent parts of Kyle Larson's race car flying into the stands and injuring more than two dozen fans.

Following the crash, 12 people were taken to the Halifax Health Medical Center near the Speedway in Daytona, Florida. Five of those patients have since been treated and released, said hospital spokesman Byron Cogdell.

An additional six patients were treated and released from Halifax Health Medical Center of Port Orange following the crash. Race officials said 14 people were treated at the track's care center.

That accident has track owners around the country at least taking a look at their own safety measures, and that includes Charlotte Motor Speedway.

A crash at CMS in 1999 resulted in the deaths of three fans in the grandstand.

Nationwide races at Charlotte Motor Speedway are popular with fans, but very different than those at Daytona. Daytona has 31 degree banking, Charlotte's is 24 degrees and steeper banking means higher speeds.

At Daytona, Nationwide cars have restrictor plates on the engines that tend to keep cars running in a pack, while at Charlote the field generally spreads out.

But Saturday's crash at Daytona could have officials at Charlotte Motor Speedway seeing if anything needs to be changed.

"Fan safety is always a priority at Charlotte Motor Speedway," Scott Cooper of Charlotte Motor Speedway told WBTV.  "Every incident certainly gives us an opportunity to learn. We'll see what the NASCAR investigations from this past weekend come to find and see if there's anything we can learn from that and then apply here at Charlotte."

Big changes were made after the 1999 crash that took the lives of three spectators during an Indy Car race. Catch fences were raised from 15 to 21 feet and stretched to reach 7 feet out and over the track and the Indy Cars haven't returned.

"You know those things happen but you don't want them to," H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler told WBTV.  Wheeler was president of Charlotte Motor Speedway at the time of the Indy Racing League VisionAire 500. "We did a lot to keep things out of the gradnstand. When you have a big hard wreck where pieces are going everywhere, stuff is goign through the wheel fence, lug nuts, bits of fiberglass, bits of steel all that sort of stuff, you want to make sure that whatever you've got in front of there is going to stop it."

Fans who spoke with WBTV on Monday said they have confidence in the safety measures at Charlotte Motor Speedway and won't let Saturday's crash at Daytona keep them away.

"It can happen anyplace, anytime," Gerald Meyers said.

"It's just one of those things I think," said race fan Patty Harris of Concord.  "You go to any sporting event there's, especially like racing, there's always a danger of something happening.  I think they take as many safety precautions as possible and I think it's one of these freak accidents that happen sometimes, probably not a whole lot they can do to prevent it but look into more safey measures, but I think they do a lot with safety at the track now."

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