Darlington, SC - (February 24, 2004) Darlington Raceway
officials announced today that installation of SAFER barriers at the
historic track is under way. A recent announcement by NASCAR stated that all
facilities hosting NEXTEL Cup Series events would be equipped with the Steel
and Foam Energy Reduction system by January 2005.
"Our goal is to have the SAFER barrier up at every track where it's
recommended by the experts by 2005,'' said Gary Nelson, NASCAR's managing
director of research and development.
Darlington joins Richmond, Phoenix, Homestead-Miami, New Hampshire and
Indianapolis on the list of tracks with the SAFER system. Talladega
Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway have announced plans to
have the barriers in place in time for their upcoming events in April and
The SAFER barriers' installation at Darlington will be completed in time for
the spring event, the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 weekend, coming up March
Dean Sicking headed the University of Nebraska team that developed the SAFER
barrier, which absorbs some of the energy in a crash, lessening the impact
for a driver. The barrier is made up of steel tubes and pads of hard foam
and is affixed to the concrete wall.
In 2003, Dr. Sicking and the University of Nebraska were honored as the
recipients of NASCAR's Award of Excellence for their work.
"Safety is of paramount importance in our sport, and we are pleased to be
installing the SAFER barrier at Darlington Raceway," said Andrew Gurtis,
president of Darlington Raceway.
Contact: Darlington Raceway public relations 843.395.8892