Massive Crash Tests Daytona Catchfence
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The stronger redesigned catchfence at Daytona Int’l Speedway got its first serious test during a multiple-car crash during Wednesday’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session.
The fence sustained moderate damage that ended the session after 29 minutes.
Rookie driver Parker Kligerman ended up into the fence and slid on the roof of his car halfway down the frontstretch in a crash that was triggered when Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano ran into each other exiting turn four. Logano’s car turned sideways and slammed into Paul Menard. Kligerman’s car lifted off the ground and bounced off Ryan Truex’s hood before landing upside down.
Dave Blaney was also involved in the crash that featured no injuries but the front splitter from Kligerman’s car tore through the fence and pierced through to the other side of the grandstand. No spectators were in that area for practice and there were no injuries.
Construction crews were able to repair the damaged fence, which held up much better than it did when Kyle Larson’s airborne car crashing into it on the final lap of last February’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race. That crash last February tore down a large portion of the fence with the engine of Larson’s car ending up near the grandstands. Debris from the crash injured more than 25 people.
“I was going into (turn) three and trying to back out of the draft,” Kligerman said. “We were good and we were going to quit for the day — just pack it up and wait for tomorrow or tonight. I guess from what I could see, the 22 (Joey Logano) was just being overly aggressive and it’s a shame.
“He’s supposed to be a veteran. You go up here to the Sprint Cup Series and it’s supposed to be the best of the best and you have a guy who in practice is racing people like that — like it’s the last lap of the Daytona 500, meanwhile I came out of Truck practice and we were running three or four-wide no problem. I don’t quite understand that one; I’ll have to talk to him about that. I’m pretty upset about how all that went down.”
Logano tried to explain his side of the situation.
“We were coming off four there and the 20 (Kenseth) started making a move to go down,” Logano said. “I assumed he was going to go down there. I had the run, so I was going to fill that hole and then he started to come back up and I was there. Maybe I shouldn’t have been racing as hard as I was there in practice, but everybody was in a big pack they’re trying to make things happen. As soon as he came back up I checked up a little bit and then the 21 (Trevor Bayne) hit me from behind and we spun out. It happens.
“That’s Daytona for you. We have another good Shell/Pennzoil Ford in the trailer that they backed out and are getting through tech now so we’ll get that out and make sure it’s good for the Duel and get through that and we’ll be fine.”