Daytona Renovations Could Be Altered To Include Sturdier Fences Following Crash
Daytona Int'l Speedway is in the midst of a planned renovation that includes the grandstands, but track President Joie Chitwood said that the injuries sustained by fans during Saturday's Nationwide Series race could "prompt a redesign that might include sturdier fences or stands further away from the on-track action," according to Mark Long of the AP. At least 28 fans were injured when part of Kyle Lawson's No. 32 car went over the catch fence and into the stands. Chitwood said, "It's tough to connect the two right now in terms of a potential redevelopment and what occurred. ... If there are things that we can incorporate into the future, whether it's the current property now or any other redevelopment, we will." Long noted DIS officials "decided not to rebuild the collapsed cross-over gate" prior to yesterday's Daytona 500. The gate allows fans "to travel between the stands and the infield before races" (AP, 2/24). In Daytona Beach, Ken Willis writes there are "two guarantees" coming out of the Nationwide Series wreck. The first is "every track on the circuit will take another look at their catch-fences and if they have any doubts at all, will do upgrades." The second is DIS officials will "revisit any initial schematics for the proposed grandstand renovations." Once the insurance agents "meet with Risk Management, the new grandstand layout may include a wider buffer and taller fence" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 2/25).
KANSAS FEELS GOOD WITH STATUS QUO: In K.C., Randy Covitz notes in 12 years of NASCAR racing at Kansas Speedway, no car "has ever gone airborne." Kansas Speedway President Pat Warren said, "You can’t ever say never in a situation like that, but because it’s never happened, I’m pretty confident that our place, just because of the differences between the two tracks, we’re probably okay. But, you never know." Daytona is a 2.5-mile superspeedway while the tri-oval at Kansas measures just 1.5 miles (K.C. STAR, 2/25).