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Debris clears Daytona grandstand fencing for second straight day

DAYTONA BEACH , Fla. For the second consecutive day, debris from an on-track incident at Daytona International Speedway ended up on the grandstand side of the protective fencing.

During Thursday’s final NASCAR Truck Series practice session, a window panel came dislodged from a truck, drifted into the air and nearly struck the NASCAR official in the flagstand before falling over the fence and into the grandstand area.

No one was injured and there did not appear to be any fans in the area where the panel landed.

On Wednesday, a seven-car wreck sent Parker Kligerman’s Toyota into the frontstretch fencing, tore open two small holes and damaged the energy-absorbing SAFER barrier.

That practice session was cut short while repairs were made to the fence and barriers.

Viewing parties scheduled at Hall: The NASCAR Hall of Fame has scheduled eight viewing parties this season, where fans can watch TV broadcasts of Sprint Cup Series races on the big screen in its High Octane Theater.

The following races will be shown: Sunday’s Daytona 500; April 12 race at Darlington, S.C.; May 4 race at Talladega, Ala.; May 10 race at Kansas; June 15 race at Michigan; July 5 race at Daytona; Aug. 23 race at Bristol, Tenn.; and the Nov. 16 season finale at Homestead, Fla.

Admission to each race viewing party is $10 and free for NASCAR Hall of Fame members. Two large side screens in the theater will feature direct-from-track, commercial free in-car feeds of two drivers, giving fans a behind-the-wheel view of the race. For more information, call 877-231-2010 or visit nascarhall.com.

Blaney forced to withdraw: Without a backup car, the Randy Humphrey Racing team and veteran driver Dave Blaney were forced to withdraw their entry into this season’s Daytona 500. Blaney was one of several drivers involved in wrecks during the first of Wednesday night’s two practice sessions. The damage to the car was too extensive to repair.

Fastest in practice: Ryan Blaney was fastest in Thursday’s final Truck Series practice session. Trucks open their season on Friday night. Bobby Gerhart topped the final Nationwide Series practice.

Rule change: On Thursday, NASCAR officials announced they would allow Nationwide Series teams at Daytona to open their front grilles by an additional one-half of an inch in order to combat overheating issues that have developed during practice.

Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter
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