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- Daytona 500
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By The Sports Xchange February 24, 2013 10:21 AM
NASCAR officials determined the Daytona 500 would run as planned Sunday but the story in Florida was still the Nationwide race crash that injured 28 people, including two upgraded overnight from critical to stable condition with head injuries. "We are prepared to go racing today," said Daytona track president Joie Chitwood III Sunday at a press conference. The engine and a tire from the Chevrolet of Kyle Larson reached the frontstretch grandstand and walkway, beyond the fence designed to separate racing fans from the action. A section of fence was replaced, but the mesh crossover gate will not be removed or upgraded for Sunday's race, a historic event with Danica Patrick in pole position, but fans do have the option to request being moved from that area, according Chitwood. "If fans are unhappy with their seating location or incidents, we will relocate them," he said. Of the 28 fans injured, 14 were treated at the track and 14 were transported for medical attention; 12 of them went to the Daytona Beach hospital. NASCAR officials said a detailed inspection of Larson's car would be conducted immediately and upgrades to the track for safety reasons are always reviewed following any incident. Tony Stewart won Saturday's race, but was not celebrating when he made it to Victory Lane. "We've always known since racing was started this was a dangerous sport," Stewart said. "But we assume that risk, and it's hard when the fans get caught up in it."