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NASCAR: Daytona President Joie Chitwood Takes Responsibility for No SAFER Barrier

Following a crash during the Alert Today Florida 300, Kyle Busch will miss the Daytona 500. The crash saw Busch hit a wall that was not protected by a SAFER barrier.


Daytona International Speedway Joie Chitwood III addressed the media on Saturday following the XFINITY event, saying that the speedway did not live up to it’s responsibility.

“We should have had a SAFER barrier there today, we did not,” Chitwood commented. “We’re going to fix that.  We’re going to fix that right now.”

Chitwood stated that they will install tire packs along the 850-foot linear square feet of wall on Saturday night ahead of the Daytona 500. Following the 500, the speedway will install SAFER barriers on every inch of the property.

This is not going to happen again,” Chitwood added. “We’re going to live up to our responsibility. We’re going to fix this and it starts right now.”

Chitwood asked whether finances come into play with a decision like this and answered, “Finances don’t come into play.  That’s really not a question.  We’re going to get this fixed and be sure we’re ready for the next event here.”

NASCAR also took responsibility for the incident, with NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell saying that it’s on NASCAR and they’re going to fix the problem immediately.

“I think we all know that racing is an inherently dangerous sport, but our priority is safety and we’ll continue to put things in place that make this sport as safe as possible,” O’Donnell said.

O’Donnell added that some tracks do not have SAFER barriers as ” NASCAR is not the only sanctioning body that races at a specific track.”, but it isn’t a common problem that they run into. He continued by saying that NASCAR always has conversations with tracks to install SAFER barriers.

“The racetracks know that and work together with us on the SAFER barrier recommendations,” O’Donnell continued. “What we’ve said here tonight is we will accelerate those talks with the tracks.  We want this sport to be as safe as possible for not only our drivers, but everyone who participates in the sport and the race fans as well.”

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