SBD/April 25, 2013/Facilities

Daytona, Talladega Reinforce Crossover Gates Following February Injuries To NASCAR Fans

An engine tore through the fence at Daytona Int'l Speedway, injuring more than 20 fans
The crossover gates at Daytona Int'l Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway have been "reinforced following a third-party review of a Feb. 23 accident" at Daytona that injured more than two dozen fans, according to Jim Utter of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. NASCAR, DIS and Talladega officials yesterday announced additional cables "have been installed at the eight crossover gates at each track." Tethers also have been "added between the gate frames and support posts." The changes "put the crossover gate areas more in line with the rest of the catch fencing as far as reinforcement." NASCAR Senior VP/Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell said that it is possible "other tracks used in NASCAR’s three national series ... could eventually implement the crossover gate changes as well." No other changes are "planned for NASCAR’s visit to Talladega next month" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/25). DIS President Joie Chitwood said that some of the steel cables in the fencing "did not extend across the gate area, but now there will be continuity, which should increase strength" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 4/24). Chitwood said that the cables at the crossover sections are "the same size as the existing cables on the other sections of the fencing at Daytona and Talladega." Chitwood added that "no race fans with seats in February's debris zone area have asked to relocate seats" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 4/25).
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