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Daytona 500 Race To Go Ahead Despite Crash

The Daytona 500 NASCAR race will go ahead despite a crash that injured 28 fans and questions over the track's safety regulations.

The spectators and one driver were injured in a 10-car crash at the Daytona Speedway, which sent debris flying into the crowd.

Workers successfully repaired a section of fence - 54 feet (16.5 metres) wide and 22 feet (6.7 metres) high - that was shredded during the crash on Saturday.

And officials said that fans feeling uncomfortable with their up-close seating during the race would be moved.

"If fans are unhappy with their seating location or if they have any incidents, we would relocate them," track president Joie Chitwood said.

"So we'll treat that area like we do every other area of the grandstand. If a fan is not comfortable where they're sitting, we make every accommodation we can."

On the last lap of the Nationwide Nascar race, competitor Regan Smith was turned sideways and took out several racers behind him, causing a pile-up.

Large chunks of driver Kyle Larson's car landed in the grandstands, and one of his tyres appeared to fly over the fence and into the stands. 

His car went airborne when it hit the pile-up and it was flung into the fence that separates the track from the seats. 

The car itself had its entire front end sheared off, with the burning engine wedged through a gaping hole in the fence.

Larson managed to climb out of the wreckage afterwards unscathed.

Race officials said 14 fans were taken to hospital, with another 14 being treated on the scene at the Florida track.

Driver Michael Annett, of the Richard Petty Motorsports team, was being treated in hospital for bruising on his chest, his team said.

Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports national columnist, spoke to fans in the damaged grandstand.

He told Sky News: "They described it as like a war zone, you simply had nothing you could do.

"The car is moving at 200 miles per hour, so you can't really dodge anything. An entire wheel slammed into one person."

Driver Tony Stewart won the race, but skipped the traditional post-race victory celebration because of the dramatic turn of events.

The Nationwide race was a curtain-raiser for American stock car racing's biggest event, the Daytona 500.

Nascar president Mike Helton told cable TV network ESPN: "There was obviously some intrusion into the fence, and fortunately with the way the events are equipped, there was plenty of emergency workers ready to go. They all jumped on it pretty quickly.                

"We've always known since racing started this is a dangerous sport."