Firebird Raceway fans react to Daytona crash - KMSP-TV

Firebird Raceway fans react to Daytona crash

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A crash at the Daytona 500 Saturday left 33 fans injured, and is a reminder of how dangerous the sport can be.

Three years ago this week, an accident killed a race fan in the pit at Firebird International Raceway when a tire went flying.

This crash and the unexpected accident at Daytona International Raceway are reminders that racing isn't just dangerous for drivers.

"Ya know, I've never really thought about it," said Crystal Foubert.

Foubert and her husband, Steve, take their grandchildren to races all the time and don't fear injuries to fans. But, even NHRA officials say that with extreme sports come extreme risks.

"I mean there is an inherent danger in racing, not only for the racecar drivers, but the spectators, and that inherent danger is also in other forms of, baseball," said Graham Light, Senior Vice President of Racing for the NHRA.

Light says that since the organization was founded in 1951, security measures have been evaluated and updated countless times. Immediately after the deadly accident at Firebird, a mechanism was added to the race cars.

"It's a locking hub, so to speak, that locks the wheel to the axle to prevent the studs from sheering off like it did in that particular case," said Light.

The Foubert family has faith that track management and racing organizations are doing everything they can to keep spectators safe, and understand that sports can be unpredictable.

"That was a freak thing that happened there," said Crystal Foubert.

This upcoming weekend, Nascar is coming to Phoenix International Raceway and fans say they still plan on sitting in the stands.

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