It was a packed afternoon Sunday at Watkins Glen International as dozens flocked to watch Danica Patrick make history during the Daytona 500. It is considered the Super Bowl of all races, but as YNN’s Crystal Cranmore tells us, safety was a primary concern for fans.
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- It's NASCAR’s biggest event of the season, the Daytona 500.
“I am hoping the girl wins,” said NASCAR fan, Celine Thomas.
Many hoped Danica Patrick would win, but she finished eighth. Still, she became the first woman to start the race at the front of the pack and became the first woman to lead a lap during green flag racing.
“She’s the only woman in NASCAR and I think that will get a lot more women in NASCAR,” said Cody Morse, another NASCAR enthusiast.
“She’s the real deal. You don’t get the pole position out there just by turning laps,” said David Cole.
Others at the party supported some of their top drivers on their shirts and jackets including Jimmy Johnson and Tony Stewart.
While there were plenty of cheers and laughter at the Glen Club, safety was on everyone’s mind.
During the Nationwide Series race on Saturday, a car crashed into the fence, sending large chunks of debris, including a tire, into the grandstands.
At least 28 people were injured.
Fans say the crash put a bit of a damper on Sunday's race. But some said Saturday’s incident could have been much worse.
“It’s part of racing, people going 200 miles per hour. The catch fence did its job. It could have been a lot more serious. Small pieces are going to get through,” said Cole.
NASCAR does plan to review catch fence safety. Like many other sports, racing can be dangerous. But the thrill attracts millions each year.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will visit the Glen on Sunday August 11th.