March 3, 2013 in Sports

Auto racing: Daytona crash prompts NASCAR to examine gates

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Kyle Busch takes a bow in front after winning at Phoenix International for his 52nd career Nationwide victory.
(Full-size photo)

NASCAR will look at the placement of gates at its tracks after a Nationwide Series car crashed through the fence at Daytona and injured more than two dozen fans.

The fans were injured during the 12-car crash last Saturday when pieces of rookie Kyle Larson’s car ripped through the fence, including a section where a gate connects the grandstand and the track.

“I think because of where it came through and having pieces that did get through and it being a gate area, that’s really going to be the focus for us to look at,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President, Racing Operations said Saturday from Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. “We’re certainly going to look at fencing in general, but I think that particular area, that it was a gate, did impact it. We know the gate was locked, but does that provide as much stability as the rest of the fencing we believed it did? We’ve now got to look at that impact.”

The crash occurred on the final lap of the Nationwide race the day before the Daytona 500, when leader Regan Smith tried to block Brad Keselowski and triggered a chain reaction. Larson’s car went airborne during the wreck and slammed into the fence, sending debris into the stands.

O’Donnell said two injured fans remain at the hospital, but everyone else has been released.

Busch races to win

Kyle Busch overcame a midrace gaffe on pit road with a dominating performance, leading 142 laps to win his fifth Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday.

Busch started from the pole and shook off a speeding penalty to pit road with what was easily the fastest car during the 200-lap race around PIR’s mile oval.

He eclipsed 11,000 career laps during the race and picked up his 52nd Nationwide victory, extending his own record.

Busch has won seven times at Phoenix, including once in Sprint Cup and twice in the trucks series.

Brad Keselowski finished second and Justin Allgaier was third.

Trevor Bayne finished fourth, followed by Elliott Sadler.

Hamilton fastest in F1

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clocked the fastest lap of the preseason in Formula One testing on Saturday in Barcelona, Spain.

Hamilton took advantage of the first blue skies and dry track this week at the Catalunya Circuit by putting in a lap of 1 minute, 20.558 seconds to record the session’s best individual time.

After one more day of final adjustments in northeastern Spain, the season opens at the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks.

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