Kelly Crandall

More than 20 people injured by vehicle in parking lot after Martinsville race

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At least 22 people were injured and at least 14 went to hospitals after a vehicle crashed into a crowd in a parking lot Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.

Twelve fans went to Memorial Hospital in Martinsville, Virginia, according to Liz Harris, the hospital’s director of marketing. She confirmed that one patient was transported to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia.

The Virginia State Police reported that two fans were taken to Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden, N.C. Those injured ranged in age from 13 to 65. The Virginia State Police stated that fans transported to the hospitals had non-life threatening injuries.

Thirteen fans were treated at the scene for minor injuries, according to the Virginia State Police.

The incident occurred at 5:38 p.m. – an hour after the checkered flag waved – in the handicapped parking lot outside Turn 2 of the speedway. The parking lot was congested with vehicles and pedestrians when a 2005 Chevrolet SSR convertible attempted to pass a Jeep Patriot. The Chevrolet struck the Jeep and then struck several pedestrians, according to the Virginia State Police.

The driver of the Chevrolet is being interviewed by Virginia State Police. The police stated that alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash. Charges are pending consultation with Henry County Commonwealth Attorney Andrew Nester.

The Ridgeway District Volunteer Rescue, Ridgeway District Volunteer Fire, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, City of Martinsville Sheriff’s Office, Martinsville Speedway officials, Henry County Department of Public Safety and Virginia State Police immediately responded to the scene.

The investigation remains ongoing.

 

NASCAR America: Kyle Busch questions Xfinity rules package at Indy

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Kyle Busch isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and he certainly did so after Saturday’s  Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NASCAR implemented a number of changes to make the racing closer, tighter and more exciting — including restrictor plates, a larger rear spoiler, aero ducts, and a smaller splitter — and achieved all that on many fronts.

But not for the younger Busch brother, who wasn’t pleased with the rules package. Was it actually designed to specifically slow him down rather than to even out things for the entire field?

Or was he just simply upset because he didn’t win a third Xfinity race in a row at IMS?

Check out how our NASCAR America analysts gauged the Xfinity changes in the above video.

 

TriStar Motorsports team owner Mark Smith passes away

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Mark Smith, owner of TriStar Motorsports, died Saturday at his home, after a long battle with cancer, the team announced Monday. He was 63.

He began his racing career building engines for his brother Jack’s drag car in the 1970s. He moved his family from the West Coast in the early 1990s to pursue a career in NASCAR. He was the owner of TriStar Motorsports and Pro Motor Engines.

TriStar Motorsports fields the No. 14 in the Xfinty Series with JJ Yeley and the No. 72 in the Cup Series with Cole Whitt. The team stated the team will continue operations under the management of Bryan Smith, son of Mark Smith.

“It was dad’s dream to own and operate a NASCAR team,” Bryan Smith said. “He devoted his life to that dream and his family plans to honor his wishes by continuing our efforts in his memory.”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Victory Junction Gang victoryjunction.org or NOVA (National Organization for Vehicle Access, part of the BraunAbility) novafunding.org.

The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. ET, Aug. 1 at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, North Carolina. They have created a Facebook page where you are encouraged to leave a story for the family to enjoy. (facebook.com/Remembering-Mark-Smith-301261653675224)

NASCAR America: Analysts break down Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. wreck (video)

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Given how wild the Brickyard 400 played out, the big wreck between race leaders Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. wasn’t exactly surprising.

Rather, with the way the race transpired from the opening lap, was the Busch/Truex wreck almost inevitable?

Truex got loose and washed up into the left rear of Busch’s car, sending both drivers and their respective cars into the outside retaining walls, hitting hard and ending their respective days.

Check out what our NASCAR America analysts had to say about the wreck from Monday’s show in the above video.

NASCAR America: Dale Earnhardt Jr. recaps wild Brickyard 400 (video)

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, Dale Earnhardt Jr. — who will become part of our NBC Sports Group in 2018 — looked back on a wild and intense Brickyard 400.

Earnhardt was one of several drivers whose day came to an early ending — in Junior’s case when he ran into the back of Trevor Bayne‘s car, destroying his radiator in the process.

All the mayhem and mishaps could be linked to over-aggressive driving, Earnhardt said, saying that every driver was in “attack mode,” especially on restarts.

Check out Junior in the video above.