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Daytona International Speedway Responds “Right Now” With SAFER Barrier Solution

Daytona International Speedway Responds “Right Now” With SAFER Barrier Solution

by February 21, 2015 0 comments

Photo Credit: Wayne Thomas

By: Hunter Thomas
Twitter: @HunterThomas08

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In response to Kyle Busch sustaining injuries in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race, Daytona International Speedway president, Joie Chitwood, III said that the racetrack will fix the SAFER barrier issue “right now” by adding a temporary barrier on the frontstretch for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

On Saturday night during the Alert Today Florida 300, Kyle Busch sustained injuries to his right leg after hitting the inside wall on the frontstretch at nearly full force. Since the SAFER barrier made its appearance in NASCAR competition, the questioning of its placement around the various tracks has always been a question, especially when considering the cost of installment, but following the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Daytona International Speedway will make it a priority to have the SAFER barrier around the entire track.

“The Daytona International Speedway did not live up to its responsibility today,” Chitwood said. “We should have had a SAFER barrier there today, we did not. We’re going to fix that. We’re going to fix that right now.

“We’ve got the team out tonight. We’re going to install tire packs along that 850-foot linear square feet of wall, so we’re ready to go racing tomorrow. Following that, the Daytona International Speedway is going to install SAFER barrier on every inch at this property. This is not going to happen again. We’re going to live up to our responsibility. We’re going to fix this and it starts right now.”

Chitwood also went on to say that financials will not come into play when it comes to installing the additional SAFER barriers in the future. Even though Kyle Busch hit the inside wall at a very odd section of the track, especially considering all of the grass the car had to slide through, safety is always a top priority in the sport where cars reach over 200 mph. On Saturday night, Daytona International Speedway certainly lived up to the “World Center of Racing” with their quick and aggressive response to the issue.

“For us, we really can’t look at financials as a reason for this,” Chitwood said. “We have to have a venue which we can put on NASCAR racing and have competitors be safe.

“We’ve put in SAFER barriers over a number of years. Again, we have to fix this right now. We’re going to fix it for tomorrow. We have the team out there with the tire packs. We’re going to be ready for tomorrow’s race.

“Come Monday, we’re going to start the plan so we can put SAFER barrier everywhere here. Finances don’t come into play. That’s really not a question. We’re going to get this fixed and be sure we’re ready for the next event here.”

The 57th running of the Daytona 500 will air live on FOX and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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