DAYTONA, Fla. (WLFI) - In an exciting NASCAR finish, sometimes to worst can happen.
Saturday, on the last lap of the Drive4COPD 300, a crash sent part of driver Kyle Larson's car into the stands, injuring 33 people in the process.
"I've never seen anything like that," said winner of the Drive4COPD 300 Tony Stewart. "We've seen a lot of big ones here and I've been a part of a couple big ones, but I've never seen anything like that."
Purdue Director of Motorsports Purdue Danny White says Saturday's crash was a one-in-a-million crash where the car never hit the concrete wall.
A former racer himself, White says after a crash of this nature, new regulation is needed to help keep fans safe.
"Now, we're in a situation where we have catch fences at race tracks across the country," White said. "To the original person that designed them, to the original architect that put all of this together, they did it with the best tools that they had at the time. Well, things have really advanced in engineering so I think we could take another look."
White says motorsports are self-regulating, and he says it sometimes takes a tragedy like this, or the crash that killed Dan Wheldon, to raise safety awareness.
"The industry has to catch up and I know the Motor Speedways catch fence," White said. "I've been there many, many years of participating and observing. They probably have one of the top catch fences in the country. It's the others I worry about."
White says his next goal is to convince officials with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Car to fund research to potentially find solutions to have better catch fences.
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