ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - He is still just amazed that no one was killed. Tim Johnson, a Tampa fire fighter who was in the stands when part of a race car came through the fence at the Daytona Speedway over the weekend, said, "When we left there I sent out some text and said, 'I'm sure there's two confirmed dead.'"
In the shadow of that crash in Daytona, there are questions as to fan safety when it comes to racing, and with the Honda Grand Prix being a showcase fan event in St. Petersburg, we wanted to take a closer look at track safety.
Tim Ramsberger, the president of Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, went through the multiple layer of safety around the track, "We have four basic components to our safety system."
He would explain, "You have the concrete barriers, the poles and the catch fence." In fact there is 20,000 feet of steel reinforced concrete, 44,000 feet of chain-link fencing, and a multiple high strength cables, which Ramsberger says "is actually what will keep a race car inside the track and keep the public safe."
And he says it doesn't stop there, at high speed, high risk areas, like some of the corners, 12,000 tires to build tire walls.
Even so, in the aftermath of the Daytona crash, Ramsberger knows, "You can't guarantee that you are never going to incur something like that."
And race fans like Johnson agree, anything can happen, and it did last Saturday at the Daytona Speedway, "Just a fluke. A one in a million."