“You don’t have time to react, but I just remember thinking, `This is gonna hurt,’” said Steve Bradford, of Dade City. “We were showered with debris.”
Gober picked up a bolt that landed next to his left foot and plans to take it home as a souvenir from a crash that could have considerably worse.
He and Bradford have been coming to races at Daytona for years, always seeking out scalped tickets so they can get ultra-close to the cars zooming by at 200 mph.
“Needless to say, we won’t be here next year,” Bradford said _ meaning the seats, not the race.
He pointed at the upper level.
“Next year, we’ll be up there,” he said.
Not everyone felt the same way.
John and Andrea Crawford, of Streetsboro, Ohio, love sitting a few rows up. They were there Saturday and back again Sunday, just like so many in that seating section.
The area had rubber marks on seats hit by the tire. Several fans pointed out a chair bent backward, the spot one man was sitting when he got pummeled by the 60-pound tire and wheel.
“I’m not nervous,” Andrea Crawford said. “It doesn’t happen that much.”
When Rick Barasso arrived at his seats, he noticed a few reporters and some tire marks. He asked what was going on and then couldn’t stop smiling as he waved his friends over and shared details with them.
“These should be good seats,” he said. “I mean, what are the chances?”
Maybe small, but there’s little doubt the latest fallout could prompt NASCAR and track officials to consider changes _ at Daytona and elsewhere.
Daytona has plans to remodel the grandstands. Track President Joie Chitwood said Saturday’s wreck could prompt sturdier fences or stands farther from the action.