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DATE News (chronologically)
04/29/08
NASCAR
Lowe's installing additional safer barriers  Lowe’s Motor Speedway will install an additional 340 feet of SAFER barriers on its backstretch inside wall in time for the Sprint All-Star Race next month. The track has had a SAFER barrier on part of the inside backstretch wall coming out of Turn 2 but none heading into Turn 3.

Inside walls and openings have been a point of emphasis for tracks since Jeff Gordon crashed into an opening at Las Vegas.

“Not that many people end up down here, but just in case they do, we want to make sure they’ve got some cushioning,” Speedway Motorsports President Humpy Wheeler said Tuesday. “I wanted to do this for a while. The Las Vegas deal, we saw it is the bizarre places on the race track that you’ve got to watch out for. Those are the one that will bite you."

Wheeler was joined by Richard Childress Racing driver Jeff Burton for the ceremony installing the first additional barrier Tuesday
afternoon. The project will cost about $110,000.

“I’m sure we’ll need it for the All-Star race,” Burton said. “Whenever you pay a million bucks to win something and second doesn’t mean a whole lot, then something will happen.”

Wheeler also said that, for the October race weekends, there will be alterations made to the cutout in the inside backstretch wall where emergency vehicles get on and off the track. “They can’t jump a ramp to get on a race track,” Wheeler said. “[But] you just can’t have dead heads [blunt-edged walls] anymore at the speeds you’re going. You never could, even on the short tracks.”

Wheeler said engineers are working on a new design for the wall that Gordon hit Las Vegas, which is a sister Speedway Motorsports Inc. facility to the Lowe's track. SceneDaily.com

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