Daytona International Speedway reaches settlements with 9 victims of 2013 wreck that sent debris into grandstands

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Nine of the more than two dozen fans who were injured during the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 23, 2013 have settled claims against the racetrack.

The Daytona Beach (Fla.) Journal reported Friday that no monetary terms would be announced by either the victims’ law firm, Morgan and Morgan, or International Speedway Corporation, which owns DIS.

“I can say that we have reached settlements with several claimants related to the incident, but as has been our practice throughout, we are not going to discuss any of the details,” ISC spokesman Lenny Santiago said, adding that it was “in the interest of the privacy of the fans involved.”

Morgan and Morgan attorney Andrew Felix told the Journal, “The parties have amicably resolved the matters.”

At least 28 fans were injured – with half that total requiring hospitalization afterward – when debris from an on-track, multi-car wreck flew into the grandstands in the final lap of the Drive4COPD 300 NNS race. The debris included shrapnel from the wrecked race cars, as well as at least one tire.

Kyle Larson, who is now a rookie in the Sprint Cup Series, was uninjured in the crash, even though his car was sheared in half and almost completely obliterated.

Several claims by other victims remain unresolved.

The Speedway has since extensively reinforced catch fencing and crossover gates in the area where the accident occurred, as well as other areas along the frontstretch.

DIS is currently undergoing a $400 million renovation, the largest and most expansive project since the track opened in 1959. The renovation is being done in phases and will not affect any upcoming races, including the Coke Zero 400 in early July.

The entire renovation project is expected to be completed prior to the 2016 Daytona 500.

After the crash, the Speedway improved the crossover gates which were identified as weak spots on the safety fence at the track.

A video of the wreck is below:

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MRTI: Saturday Barber Notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Both the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires completed their first races of the weekend on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park.

Indy Lights saw a pair of teammates battle for the win, while a series veteran suffered first lap trouble for the second race in a row.

In Pro Mazda, things were much more straightforward, as a title contender ran away to a dominant win from the pole.

Reports on both series are below.

Indy Lights: O’Ward Withstands Herta Challenge for Race 1 Victory

Lap 1 told the tale for Indy Lights Race 1, as Colton Herta led from the pole, but Pato O’Ward was able to sneak by on the inside entering Turn 5.

O’Ward subsequently had to withstand a race-long challenge from Herta, who kept the gap at less than one second between the two Andretti Autosport affiliated drivers – Herta races under the Andretti Steinbrenner Racing banner – for most of the 30-lap race. But, O’Ward kept Herta at bay to take the win by one-and-a-half seconds at the checkered flag.

This is also O’Ward’s second win in three races in the 2018 season.

Belardi Auto Racing’s Santi Urrutia finished third, followed by Juncos Racing’s Victor Franzoni, and Ryan Norman finished fifth to put three Andretti Autosport affiliated drivers in the Top 5.

Meanwhile, Belardi’s Aaron Telitz endured a second consecutive race in which he failed to complete a lap, after he was collected in a Lap 1, Turn 2 spin with Dalton Kellett. Kellett, who spun on his own, was able to continue despite the contact, but Telitz suffered damage to the right-front suspension, forcing him to retire without completing a lap for the second race in a row.

Results are below. Race 2 rolls off at 1:00 p.m. ET.

 

Pro Mazda: Thompson Roles to Dominant Race 1 Victory

Exclusive Autosport’s Parker Thompson dominated Race 1, leading all 25 laps from the pole on his way to victory. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Race 1 for Pro Mazda was hardly ever in doubt. Polesitter Parker Thompson, who soared to pole with a track record in qualifying, led right from the drop of the green flag to lead all 25 laps on his way to winning Race 1.

Thompson had to withstand a brief challenge from RP Motorsport’s Harrison Scott on a Lap 4 restart – a caution was flown for debris on the front straightaway on Lap 2 – but Thompson immediately began gapping the field again, and the Exclusive Autosport driver won by over five seconds.

Scott came home in second, while BN Racing’s David Malukas, Team Pelfrey’s Andres Gutierrez, and Juncos Racing’s Rinus VeeKay battled for third, with Malukas holding off Gutierrez and VeeKay to take the final spot on the podium.

Results are below. Pro Mazda Race 2 rolls off at 10:50 a.m. ET on Sunday.

 

Check back later for driver quotes.

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