It went bad at the very end, and started with the #7 car.
On the last lap of last Saturday’s NASCAR qualifying heat in Daytona Beach, Florida, the race cars were bunched so tightly together they appeared to be touching. Regan Smith in the #7 “Clean Coal Chevrolet” was in the lead, but just barely. As the cars thundered into the final turn, Smith lost control. His Camaro nosed to the right, knocking Joey Logano in the #22 Ford Fusion into a spin. In the chain reaction that inevitably followed, many cars were damaged. But only Kyle Larson’s #7 car went airborne, slicing into the guard walls and shearing his Chevy into three pieces. (Larson was uninjured.)
Tragically, several of those pieces became flying projectiles, spraying those watching from the stands in a shower of metal, rubber and hot oil. 28 bystanders were injured, two of them seriously, as the race came to a shocking end.
The race was broadcast live on the ESPN sports TV network, but video of the actual accident quickly disappeared from the air (ESPN officials say that was out of concern and respect for those injured.) But in these days of “citizen journalism” when everyone has a video camera in their pocket, images of the wreck and its aftermath quickly began appearing online.
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