A number of fans have been taken to hospital in a critical condition after a last lap crash at the DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Speaking at a press conference following the race track president Joie Chitwood III confirmed that 14 fans were taken by ambulance from the track, with a further 14 being treated at the venue’s own facilities. Seven of those taken from the track were taken to Halifax Medical Centre in Daytona, where two are reported to be in a critical condition, one of which with life-threatening injuries.

In a multi-car crash approaching the finish line series rookie Kyle Larson’s #32 Chevrolet was lifted into the catch fencing approaching the finish line at the end of the race. Pieces of Larson’s car went through the fencing – including the engine, which ended on the walkway just beyond the wall and a tyre, which was flung into the grandstands.

The accident was started when, battling for the lead Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski spun Regan Smith into the outside wall, with the following drivers unable to avoid cars spinning in front of him.

No drivers were seriously injured in the accident.

Tony Stewart avoided the accident to secure the victory, though his celebrations in Victory Lane were understandably low-key.

Track workers are already working to replace the damaged area of fencing, with work expected to be completed in order for the Daytona 500 to start as scheduled tomorrow (Sunday)