LONG POND, Pa. — Construction work on a number of safety improvements at Pocono Raceway — including the installation of a SAFER barrier in the infield and a catch fence along the backstretch — is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
The “new-generation” SAFER barrier, designed by Dr. Dean Sicking and his team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Midwest Roadside Safety Facility and approved by NASCAR, will run the entire length of the inside of the track from the exit of turn one to the entrance of turn three, a total of 5,516 feet.
Pocono Raceway already has SAFER barriers in place in each of the three turns that make up the 2.5-mile facility.
The new catch fence will run from the end of the frontstretch and connect with the existing catch fence in turn two, a total of 6,155 feet. A catch fence will now surround the entire length of the race track.
“These improvements are aimed at increased driver safety,” said Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway president. “We had these projects in the planning stages, before the 2010 Pocono NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events took place.”
Calls for safety improvements at the facility were made after a vicious crash involving Elliott Sadler during the Aug. 1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the track. Sadler’s car slammed into a portion of a steel guardrail head-on on the backstretch, leaving Sadler shaken but otherwise unhurt.