Atlanta Motor Speedway adding more protective barriers ahead of Sunday’s race
In the wake of Kyle Busch’s accident during Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway and NASCAR officials met on Monday to review the facility’s existing SAFER barriers and other walls. It was determined after the review that the speedway "will add a number of additions to its existing barrier system."
According to a statement released early Tuesday morning, "the protective wall at the exit of Turn 1 will be extended, and a tire barrier will be added along the inside wall of Turn 4" to help increase the safety of the competitors.
This effort will add a total of 130 linear feet of additional protective barrier and will be completed before this weekend’s events. According to Dustin Bixby, director of marketing and promotion at AMS, the additional barriers that will be in place for this weekend’s events will include tire packs and jersey barriers.
Scott Cooper, a Speedway Motorsports, Inc. spokesperson, told FOXSports.com the tire packs were being shipped to AMS from Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday. The track will send three flat-bed tractor-trailer trucks with 74 tire packs, with each tire pack containing 15 tires. In all, CMS will ship over 1,100 tires to AMS to be installed before Thursday.
"Further review regarding future installation of additional SAFER barriers at the facility will take place following Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500," the release stated. "Atlanta Motor Speedway is dedicated to providing the safest possible facility for its fans and drivers."
After Busch suffered a compound fracture in his lower right leg and a mid-foot break in his left foot, DIS president Joie Chitwood III vowed to add SAFER barriers to "every inch" of the facility, while NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell took responsibility for the incident.
"As promised, we expedited a review of potential safety advancements at each of our racing venues," O’Donnell said in a statement provided to FOX Sports Tuesday morning. "We’re pleased with the additional safety enhancements Atlanta Motor Speedway will be making leading into our events this weekend. As we’ve stated, NASCAR and its track partners remain steadfastly committed to safety."
In addition to Atlanta and Daytona, Talladega Superspeedway and Kentucky Speedway are also adding more SAFER barriers, according to multiple reports.