Tallahassee Journal

Talladega adding SAFER barriers after Kyle Busch crash

Talladega adding SAFER barriers after Kyle Busch crash

Two days after Kyle Busch — one of NASCAR’s biggest stars — broke his leg and foot in a head-on crash into a concrete wall at Daytona International Speedway, the president of the facility’s sister track said more SAFER barriers will be installed before it hosts racing in May.635603207958839181-USP-NASCAR-GOOD-SAM-ROADSIDE-ASSISTANCE-500-51997909

“We’ll look at our facility and reassess how we can make it better for the competitors as we’ve done with the catchfences and other things over the past 20 years,” Talladega Superspeedway president Grant Lynch said on Monday. “I think based upon what happened … there will be a big focus on Talladega,” Lynch said.

After Busch crashed into a wall not protected by a SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier late in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at DIS, track president Joie Chitwood III and NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell made the unusual admission that both parties had failed in their responsibility to protect drivers. Chitwood said the track — which has been touting its $400 million “Daytona Rising” amenities facelift — would invest in adding the so-called “soft walls”, which help absorb energy from a crash, to areas that aren’t covered before NASCAR returns in July. A tire barrier was erected at the site of the crash for the Daytona 500.

At 2.66 miles, Talladega — located about 55 miles east of Birmingham, Ala. — is the biggest oval track in NASCAR and one of the fastest speedways in the world. Violent, multi-car crashes are practically staples of racing at the facility, which hosts two NASCAR weekends each year. Its 2015 dates are May 1-3 and Oct. 23-25.