Kentucky Speedway to Install SAFER Barrier on Interior Backstretch Retaining Wall
Kentucky Speedway will install 56 feet of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER™) Barrier System across a section of its interior backstretch retaining wall prior to its third 2006 race weekend that will feature the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Kentucky 150" and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" races July 7-8.
Two sections of system will close an opening in the interior wall previously used as an infield access point for speedway Fire and Safety Team (F.A.S.T.) vehicles. The installation is being made on the recommendation of Dr. Dean Sicking of the University of Nebraska Roadside Safety Facility following a June 17 incident in which the No. 34 NASCAR Busch Series car driven by Jeff Fuller suffered heavy damage after sliding into a rounded inside portion of concrete retaining wall on the left side of the opening. Fuller was attempting to avoid a spinning racecar coming off of Turn 2. The 48-year-old was transported to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken wrist and finger before being released June 18. "Following an investigation Jeff Fuller's incident and at the recommendation of Dr. Sicking, we will be installing SAFER barrier across the opening in our interior retaining wall where his car made impact prior to our upcoming July event weekend," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said. "Driver safety has been, and continues to be our number one priority. Since our facility opened in June 2000, we have worked with each major sanctioning body to ensure our facility maintains the highest safety standards and have complied with every safety recommendation set forth by NASCAR and the Indy Racing League."
Kentucky Speedway invested $1,000,000 to install SAFER Barrier System inside the concrete retaining wall that spans Turns 1 through 2 and Turns 3 through 4 in 2005. The system is designed to minimize injuries under race conditions. When a racecar collides with the barrier, square steel tubes buffered with polystyrene blocks dissipate energy before it reaches a driver. On-board collision data recorders have shown a 75 percent reduction in g-force felt by drivers as the system spreads impact energy over an extended distance along a retaining wall.
Tickets for the Kentucky Speedway's third of four 2006 race weekends are on sale now and can be reserved by phone at 888-652-RACE (7223), online at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com, through Meijer stores or at speedway ticket offices in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., at 2216 Dixie Hwy., Ste. 200, and our Fan Center in Sparta, Ky.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
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