Talladega raises catchfence

As a safety precaution to protect fans and competitors, Talladega Superspeedway extended the height of its frontstretch catch fence by eight feet, president Rick Humphrey told ESPN.com Monday. The decision was made in reaction to a horrific accident on the final lap of the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup race on April 29, which sent Carl Edwards' Ford airborne into the previous fencing and sent debris spraying into the grandstands. The fence held up in the crash but was destroyed, creating concern about fan safety at the high-speed 2.66-mile venue. Humphrey and his staff hired an outside engineering firm to survey the damage. It was recommended that the fence height be extended. It stood 14 feet in April. It now stands 22 feet, and the top bows out over the track surface. There are other enhancements to the fence, too, though Humphrey said he is not at liberty to discuss them. "The engineering team we consulted with has that information," he said. "It is proprietary information that they've provided to us. They're okay with the height, that's something to the naked eye you'll certainly be able to see. There are other variables you can't get into." ESPN.com

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