<
>

Talladega adding SAFER barriers

Talladega Superspeedway will add an energy-absorbing barrier to three areas of its inside wall prior to its May 1-3 NASCAR race weekend.

The high-banked track, configured much like Daytona International Speedway, will add SAFER barriers on its inside wall at the entrances to pit road, Turn 1 and Turn 3, track chairman Grant Lynch said Thursday in a statement.

"We are committed to making Talladega Superspeedway a safe environment for drivers as well as our fans," he said.

Kyle Busch broke his right leg and left foot when he crashed into a concrete inside wall near the entrance of Turn 1 in February at Daytona. He is out for months, with no timetable announced for his return.

NASCAR mandated that the steel-and-foam energy reduction barriers be placed on the outside walls of all ovals 10 years ago. Tracks have added them in select other areas -- often in reaction to crashes. Busch's crash resulted in NASCAR announcing it would re-evaluate its tracks to determine if more SAFER barriers are needed.

Drivers have called for tracks to have all walls covered by the barrier, which costs approximately $500 per foot to purchase and install. Talladega did not announce how many feet of SAFER barriers will be installed.

Daytona also has announced the addition of SAFER barriers before its next race in July, and since the accident all tracks have added temporary tire barriers in select areas for their events.