Daytona Speedway to reinforce fencing after scary crash



Following the horrific crash at Daytona International Speedway during a Nationwide Series race, NASCAR said it brought in an outside engineer to review safety at the speedway.

A total of 33 people were hurt in the February crash, which happened a day before the Daytona 500.

Kyle Larson's racecar went airborne and slammed into the fencing, sending his engine, a tire and debris through the fence and into the stands.

Channel 9 was at a news conference on Wednesday finding out what NASCAR and the speedway are doing to prevent a similar event from happening in the future.

Officials with NASCAR and the speedway said they're going to follow the recommendations of two outside structural engineering firms that helped in the investigation.

Track President Joie Chitwood said it was the crossover gates that failed in the Larson crash. The crossover gates are how fans, track personnel and safety workers get on and off the track from the stands.

The speedway will also add more cables and tethering to the gates to prevent a car from crashing through them.

NASCAR also investigated the incident and Larson's car, but there weren't many details released about how fast exactly the car was going or how much it accelerated.

The focus of the news conference was on the fences and how to prepare them for the next race.

"These improvements recommended by HNTB are what we're going to follow through with, but again, to create the redundancy to match up with the cables that are already there and the additional tethering, based on these couple of recommendations, we feel really good going into these next couple of events," said Chitwood.

Speedway officials said they are not planning on making the fences higher, and NASCAR does not have plans to slow the cars down.

Attorney Matt Morgan said Wednesday night he's moving full speed ahead with lawsuits on behalf of six injured fans.

"There was no question that there was a breach of their duty to protect the people that were watching the race that day," Morgan said.

Morgan said his firm has a client with a fractured tibia, fibula, fractured ankle tendon and a torn ACL.

"She's single mother, raising a 5-year-old daughter. She's about to lose her job because she's been out of her job for 12 weeks," Morgan said.

There is a race at Talladega Super Speedway this weekend and the changes are already in place there.