DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Three months after suffering a broken leg and foot in the Feb. 21 Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway that forced Kyle Busch to missthe next day's Daytona 500 and half a dozen subsequent races, the driver was finally back to racing over the weekend.
But Speedway officials here had yet to say anything about the promised safer barrier improvements pledged following the accident.
An email sent on May 12 by Headline Surfer® to Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III and to track spokesman Andrew Booth went unanswered. However, the Speedway finally addressed the issue through a published story Monday in the Daytona Beach News-Journal stating work would begin that day on installing safer barriers in the location where Busch was injured.
Here is what News-Journal columnist Ken Willis reported in a story headlined, "DIS: Work begins on safety initiatives in wake of Busch crash:
"Daytona International Speedway officials announced work has started on safety initiatives that include additional soft wall coverage as well as asphalt in one area formerly covered with grass," Willis wrote, adding, "The addition of new Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) Barrier became a hot topic in the aftermath of Kyle Busch's Feb. 21 wreck in an Xfinity Series race the day before the Daytona 500 that left him with a broken leg and foot. Busch returned to racing Saturday at the All-Star Race in Charlotte, North Carolina."
Willis pointed out the Speedway was vague on specifics of the improvements beyond what had been released several weeks after the crash in a public relations statement. Here is what Willis wrote specifically: "Other than acknowledging the start of the new efforts, the Speedway declined to offer any information beyond what it addressed in a March 11 news release."
The Daytona Beach News-Journal's Ken Willis pointed out the Speedway was vague on specifics of the improvements beyond what had been released several weeks after the crash in a public relations statement. Here is what Willis wrote specifically: "Other than acknowledging the start of the new efforts, the Speedway declined to offer any information beyond what it addressed in a March 11 news release."
And here are the specifics of the March 11 Speedway press release regarding specifics of the work: The inside retaining wall, inside Turn 1 and beginning with the exit from the infield road course, will be realigned and fitted with the SAFER Barrier 20,000 square feet of asphalt will be put down to replace the grass in that area of the track -- the lack of traction on grass adds to the inability to slow or possibly control a wrecking car.
The clock is ticking on the promised safety improvements with the next series of races at Daytona International Speedway on the Fourth of July weekend: There's the Xfinity Subway Firecracker 250 on July 4 and the Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400 under the lights on July 5.