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NASCAR Exec Details Investigation Into Track Fencing After Daytona Crash
NASCAR Senior VP/Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell yesterday said that the organization has launched a "far-reaching investigation into track fencing and the circumstances that led to the injuries of at least 28 fans" during Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Daytona Int'l Speedway, according to a front-page piece by Ames Alexander of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.

O’Donnell: “This was a rare instance but certainly it’s something we’ve got to look at and fix. ... If this is something we can improve, we certainly want to do that.” O’Donnell added that while it is "still early in NASCAR’s investigation, it appears so far that all of the debris came through the fence rather than over it.” Experts at NASCAR’s R&D center in Concord, N.C., have been “asked to help conduct that review.”

O’Donnell: “We’ll pull in experts on fencing, and we’ll look at what new technologies may be available. If there’s something out there, we’ll find it.” Purdue Univ. Motorsports Dir and racing safety expert Danny White said that he “has been asked to examine a new Plexiglass-like material that is said to have enormous strength.”

O’Donnell said that he “expects NASCAR’s investigation will be similar in scope to the extensive review that went into the development of so-called ‘soft walls,’ track walls that are designed to protect drivers by absorbing the impact from crashes, such as the one that killed Dale Earnhardt at Daytona in 2001.” O’Donnell: “At every one of our tracks, fan safety is first and foremost. We want to get it right. Without our fans, we don’t have a sport." Charlotte Observer
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