Tony Stewart defers attention to injured NASCAR fans
Daytona Beach, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Tony Stewart visited seven fans injured during a wreck on the last lap of the NASCAR Nationwide Series event Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
Stewart went to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach Sunday 8 p.m. after the Daytona 500.
The three-time champion met with each patient individually, and interacted extensively with five of them. He gave each a personalized, autographed Bass Pro Shops No. 14 cap.
Of those injured, 14 were sent to area hospitals with seven of them of them going to Halifax Health.
All those taken to Halifax Health remain hospitalized, with two initially listed in critical condition, one of them life-threatening.
Those two are believed to have been struck by a tire that detached from the car when the front end was ripped from the rest of the body. They have since been upgraded to stable condition.
Three of those injured have hired Orlando-based law firm Morgan & Morgan.
No lawsuits have been filed, but the law firm is gathering information for the individuals to “pursue their claim for damages against the entities responsible for the injuries.”
The entities could include Daytona International Speedway, the company that designed the catch fence, NASCAR, the car owner and others.
Stewart recalled that as he sped toward the checkered flag, he watched in his rearview mirror as Kyle Larson’s No. 32 car went airborne, careening into the catch fence and spraying debris throughout the grandstands, injuring 28 people.
After posting his seventh victory in the past nine years, tying him with Dale Earnhardt, he said that all focus should rest on those injured in the grandstands.
“As much as we want to celebrate right now, and as much as this is a big deal to us, I’m more worried about the drivers and the fans that are in the stands right now,” he said in Victory Lane. ” I could see it all in my mirror, and it didn’t look good from where I was at.”