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SAFER barrier added at spot of Hamlin crash at Auto Club Speedway

Mar 18, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

Auto Club 400 Getty Images

Where Denny Hamlin crashed last year at Auto Club Speedway – and subsequently was injured – came at a spot on the 2.0-mile oval in Fontana, Calif. where there was no SAFER barrier.

In 2014, if any driver is unfortunate enough to lose it at that exact same spot, it appears they will not be subject to the same level of impact or injury. At least that’s the goal.

As it is, NASCAR.com’s David Caraviello has confirmed¬†Tuesday¬†from an ACS track spokesperson that an additional 1,000 feet of the Steel And Form Energy Reduction barrier has been added to the track on the inside of Turn 4.

According to the NASCAR.com report, the change was made last September. The IndyCar Series’ finale raced there last October 19.

It’s a promising sign that the tracks and powers-that-be have collaborated to make this change occur. There were several accidents at Daytona this year where drivers crashed into unprotected walls without the SAFER barrier there.

Now if anyone loses it off Turn 4 at Fontana, they should be in better shape.

  1. testover6370 - Mar 18, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Ah NASCAR, when it comes to safety always reliable to shut the barn door after the cows (repeatedly) escape.

    • indycarseries500 - Mar 18, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      That’s racing wide, definitely not exclusive to NASCAR.

      • testover6370 - Mar 19, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        That is true. Worst offender is ACO. Took Simonsen’s death for them to consider that maybe Armco directly against massive trees isn’t the safest barrier on the outside of a high speed corner.

  2. worknman24hours - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    I would like to agree but there are financial reasons tracks are not fully ringed with safety barriers.

    I wish we could have an limitless budget to make the races as safe as possible but the money simply is not there.

    That 1000 feet of safety barrier probably cost five million dollars to put on the track.

    The bad part is that that money has to be made back from somewhere.

    The tracks run on a slim budget at best.

    The hundreds of millions of dollars that run through the sport do not run through the budgets of the tracks that run the events.

    I am very happy that the track and NASCAR is getting to the issue by making that part of the track safer.

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