By David Morgan, NASCAR Contributor
Ahead of their 2017 race dates, Dover International Speedway has announced that they will be adding additional SAFER barriers to the one-mile concrete oval.
The facility will gain approximately 1,800 feet of SAFER barriers, which will place the barriers along the outside walls on the frontstretch and backstretch, as those areas are currently unprotected. With the new SAFER barriers, the outside walls around the entire track will now be protected by the energy absorbing walls.
“Continued improvements to our facility, particularly in the areas of fan and driver safety, are of the utmost importance to us,” said Mike Tatoian, president and CEO of Dover International Speedway. “The decision to add more SAFER barriers is a collaborative decision with NASCAR and various stakeholders and collectively we felt this is something that needed to be completed prior to NASCAR’s return to the Monster Mile this spring.”
“Dover has really done a great job in making the facility as safe as possible for us as drivers,” said Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Ford Fusion for Team Penske. “The Monster Mile is an extremely fast track. For only being a one-mile track, the high-banked corners and concrete surface produce really high speeds and with that you increase the risk for heavier impacts.
“As a driver I really appreciate the investment in safety. The initiative to add 1,800 feet of SAFER barrier to completely cover the outside walls is another great step.”
Monday’s announcement is a continuation of SAFER barrier installation by the track, which also installed 500 feet of the walls on the outside of Turn 2 and Turn 4 prior to last fall’s race date.
The construction, which is scheduled to begin in March, should be complete well in advance of the track’s first 2017 race weekend, June 2-4.