NASCAR Analyzing Daytona Crash

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson's car is in the process of being brought up to the R&D center from Daytona. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

AVONDALE, Ariz. – NASCAR has provided an update on findings from last week’s last-lap Nationwide Series crash at Daytona as well as the incident in that race involving Michael Annett.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president, told reporters Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway that the sanctioning body continues to investigate the circumstances around the final-lap Nationwide Series crash at Daytona International Speedway that injured 28 spectators.

Steve O'Donnell"As everybody knows, safety is first and foremost not only for NASCAR and our racetracks, but getting that right and making sure our fans can enjoy the most safe and entertaining environment possible," O’Donnell said.  "I think our history speaks to that.

"Moving forward based on what happened in Daytona, we met immediately with the folks at Daytona International Speedway.  It's been a truly collaborative effort with the goal of doing two things: looking at what happened in this incident but more importantly, the go-forward plan of what we can learn and what we want to implement."

The multi-car accident that saw the front end of Kyle Larson’s car sheared off while debris went into the grandstands has prompted NASCAR to literally try and reconstruct the scene in order to learn going forward.

O’Donnell said the remains of Larson’s car will be taken to NASCAR’s R&D Center in Concord, N.C.

"The '32' car and the parts have been secured by NASCAR.  Unlike other incidents, where just a car and a driver was involved and we immediately bring that car back to the R&D center, in this case the car remained in Daytona," O'Donnell said.  "The purpose of that was to allow the folks from Daytona and their experts take a look at the car, see what - if anything - they could glean from that investigation and apply that to their initial thoughts in looking at the fencing.

"Once the car gets to the R&D center, we'll bring in the race team," O'Donnell said.  "That car was impounded.  The team hasn't had a chance to look at it.  We want to talk about how the car was fabricated, and what we can learn as they look at the car.  The next step will be putting that car back together.  We'll use any and all technology we can - video and cameras.  If you look at Daytona, (with) all the camera angles and all the video technology that's out there, we have the most technology we've ever had to apply to this incident.  Hopefully, we're going to learn from it."

NASCAR will continue to work with all sanctioned tracks on safety initiatives and look for improvement on that level.  O’Donnell said it's a collaborative effort between track operators and the sanctioning body.

"We work together," he said.  "We do inspections of all the facilities we race at.  That includes walls and fencing.  Historically, the tracks have been responsible for fencing but we're going to look and make sure we're comfortable with what's in place.  We took that tact with SAFER barriers when we implemented those."

NASCAR is also investigating the accident resulting in Michael Annett suffering a fractured sternum that will sideline him for six to eight weeks.

"Michael Annett has an injury we've not seen for some time now," O’Donnell said.  "We're going to look through that car.  I'm happy to report that Michael went to surgery and has been released.  That's something we have to take a hard look at and make sure things worked for Michael.  Anything we can improve on, we will."

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