Atlanta Motor Speedway will install additional SAFER barrier to both its inside and outside retaining walls prior to the 2016 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Weekend, scheduled for Feb. 26-28.
Installation of an additional 4,742 linear feet of the barrier, set to begin in January, will add protection in areas on both the front and back stretches as well as to inside sections in all four turns not yet equipped. Once the project is complete, the entire outer wall and significant portions of interior areas will be fitted with the protective barrier.
“The safety of both drivers and fans continues to be our utmost priority,” said track president Ed Clark. “These additions solidify our commitment to providing the safest racing environment possible and the high-quality entertainment experience our fans deserve.”
SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier, which is designed to absorb and reduce the impact of race cars during a crash, was designed by a team of engineers at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and first installed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2002. The barrier is made up of steel tubes mounted to concrete retaining walls, separated by polystyrene foam. The technology distributes the force of impact onto a greater area and in turn, lessens the force transferred to both the car and its occupant. SAFER barrier was first installed at AMS in 2004, covering approximately 8,000 linear feet and 75 percent of the outer walls, as well as sections inside Turn 2.
The new additions add protective coverage based on the recommendations prescribed by NASCAR and safety officials. Erring on the side of safety, AMS supplemented its barrier system prior to its NASCAR events earlier this year by extending the protective wall at the exit of Pit Road as well as placing a temporary tire barrier along the inside wall in Turn 4. Both those areas will be equipped with SAFER barriers at the completion of new additions.