Speedway Replacing Debris Fence, Making Track Safer - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Speedway Replacing Debris Fence, Making Track Safer

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Car crashes are a reality in NASCAR races when drivers are going so fast. Those crashes can be exciting but also dangerous for the teams and the fans in the stand.

And right after the final race weekend of the year wrapped up Sunday at Dover International Speedway, the track immediately began a major safety improvement.

Jerry Dunning is senior vice president of Dover Motorsports. He says the current debris fence around the track. It's 15 feet tall. The new fencing will be 21 feet tall and hook over the track more.

dunning says most NASCAR tracks already have 21-foot fencing - though there's no specific guideline.

"It's just kind of become the standard in the industry without them coming out and saying this is what you have to do. NASCAR doesn't always do that anyway," said Dunning.

The old fence started coming down Monday. The new fence is scheduled to be up by the new year.

The fence is supposed to keep objects on the track and out of the stands in the event of a crash. The replacement at Dover comes about a year and half after a major incident at Daytona that sent debris flying at spectators. More than 30 people were hurt.

"They used the information they learned from the last major accident at Daytona," Dunning said. "As a result, we get the benefit of a few of the tweaks they made in the design."

Dunning says the goal is protect the race teams and the fans.

"Hopefully it will make things safer for cars, keeping cars and parts on the track, as opposed to potentially flying into the grandstands. That will be safer for fans."

Dunning says the Speedway has been planning to do this for four or five years now. The new fencing runs 5,600 feet. And it's costing the track about $3 million.

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