Barrierless No More!

Talladega Superspeedway  is set to become the first track on the NASCAR circuit to install SAFER barriers around every single inch, inside and outside, of the track. Being NASCAR’s longest and fastest track, I must give major applause to everyone at Talladega Superspeedway who stepped up and said enough is enough. As the fastest track on the circuit, they needed to be the first to step up, and they did! Now, the rest need to follow.

Austin Theriault after impacting an unprotected area of LMS.

Austin Theriault after impacting an unprotected area of LMS.

There have been several hard impact this year at a variety of tracks, and a lot of those hits have been where there is no SAFER barrier. We all remember Kyle Busch’s impact at Daytona at the very start of the year; and then there was NASCAR Camping World Series driver Austin Theriault who, like Busch, suffered some terrible injuries from hitting an unprotected wall at Las Vegas Motorspeedway.

Feb 21, 2015; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Kyle Busch (54) is attended to by medical staff after a wreck during the Alert Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 21, 2015; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Kyle Busch (54) is attended to by medical staff after a wreck during the Alert Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

As the resident statistician here at The Podium Finish, I feel like it needs to be pointed out that just because an area of a track is X-times more likely to get impacted during a race does not mean the other areas of the track are 0% as likely to get impacted. Every inch of every track has the same chance of getting hit – that percentage is 100%. Why 100% you ask? Well, every part is visible to the drivers, every part of the wall is existing, and therefore every part is just as likely to become a target. When a car spins out, gravity takes over and those cars go for one heck of a ride. The cars themselves have become safer already thanks to NASCAR. We have seen several crashes where the entire side of the car has been demolished from a wreck, yet the driver walked away unharmed. It is time for the tracks to step up to the level of the cars and protect the drivers.

Cost should not even be an issue when it comes to anyone’s safety. There should be no more talks about how to get the SAFER barriers, how to get the money, where to place them; it is time to put those thoughts aside and protect every racing inch of the track! Thank you Talladega Superspeedway for putting all those “what ifs” behind you and protecting the drivers! No one wants to see any driver get hurt, even if you dislike them, so lets get the voices out there and maybe, just maybe, the rest of the NASCAR circuit will step up and this is be an issue no more.

Ashley Hobbs

Birthday: 9 March 1989 (so I do not have to update my age each year)
Location: Florida (Jersey native, born and raised)

What better way to combine 2 of my favorite things, NASCAR and statistics, than providing y'all with an analytical report each weekend during the NASCAR season.

When I am not crunching the numbers, I spend time with my hubby, 3 black cats (Ninja, Daytona, and Chronos), and I watch too much TV, especially Doctor Who. Why yes, I am a geek and proud! So join forces with me and follow my weekly Crunching The Numbers segment. Who knows, I may surprise you!

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