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DATE News (chronologically)
04/29/09
track news
DIS not planning any safety changes  Robin Braig's heart skipped a beat when he watched Carl Edwards' No. 99 Ford go airborne and crash into the chain-link fence during Sunday's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Braig is president of Daytona International Speedway, which is configured much like its sister track in Alabama. Daytona will host the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series restrictor-plate event, the Coke Zero 400, on July 4.

"When I watched it, I was terrified, as everybody else was," Braig said Monday, standing on Daytona's tri-oval.

"As Carl got out, and ran to the finish line, you knew he was fine, but your next thoughts are 'How did everybody do in the grandstands?' Until I heard everybody was good there, I didn't really exhale until I knew everybody was OK."

The fence has been fortified and strengthened since the late 1980s, after Bobby Allison's car went hard into the chain-link fence at Talladega in 1987.

Braig said the Speedway sent a team to Talladega Monday to "review and see what we can learn from the accident."

"We're waiting on NASCAR's report to learn more about the debris and who got hit with what in the stands," Braig said. "We don't plan any changes. Everything worked.

"The SAFER barrier worked for Ryan Newman. The catch fence worked for Carl Edwards. Unfortunately, some people did get hurt, but everybody is doing fine."

Braig said Daytona is safe and has no fears about the Coke Zero 400.

"We certainly have the best safety can offer at all of our facilities," he said. "Safety is our No. 1 concern for all of our competitors and race guests."

"We feel real good with what we've put together to keep everyone safe," he added.

Braig said he doesn't expect a rule change from NASCAR before the Sprint Cup cars return in July.

"We don't anticipate anything, but we'll wait for their full report," he said. "We think everything worked.

"That's the way restrictor-plate racing is. It's exciting there, especially with the many lead changes at the end. We're hopeful we'll put on a great show, maybe not with that outcome at the end, but have a competitive race in July."

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