Phoenix International Raceway making safety enhancement to wall

Jimmie Johnson hits the wall at Phoenix International Raceway in last November's Sprint Cup race.

Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images

Phoenix International Raceway, which hosts the 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race March 15, is joining the lists of tracks ramping up their safety measures in the wake of two hard crashes in the first two weekends of the NASCAR season.

"Following a review of the existing safety barriers at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) with ISC and NASCAR officials, PIR will supplement its existing barrier system," PIR president Bryan Sperber said in a release issued by the track. "A new tire pack barrier will be installed along the interior wall of Turn 4 in advance of the 500 race weekend.

"The additional protective barrier represents PIR’s ongoing commitment to providing a safe racing environment for its drivers, teams and fans. PIR will continue to work in tandem with NASCAR to expedite the adoption of additional impact-absorbing technologies, as deemed necessary, at our facility," said Sperber.

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch is out indefinitely with a compound fracture of the lower-right leg and a mid-foot fracture of the left foot. Both injuries occurred when Busch’s car went nearly head-on into a concrete infield wall during the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway two weeks ago.

Last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon was uninjured when his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet went nose-first into an unprotected concrete wall.