Safety: A Top Concern For Auto Racing Drivers & Fans - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Safety: A Top Concern For Auto Racing Drivers & Fans

Several fans including a couple from Leslie were a little too close for comfort to a crash at Daytona International Speedway Saturday.

Each of them suffering injuries, but are expected to leave a hospital in the next few days.

In all, seven are still in the hospital in Miami.

Nick Perreault explains how this incident once again brings safety to the forefront of the sport, especially in Michigan.

From the speed to the sounds auto racing can provide plenty of excitement, but also plenty of risk.

"Well there has been a history of serious injury and death at high speed race tracks in the United States," said Attorney Jim Graves.

Jim Graves represented the family of Kenneth Fox back in 1998. Fox from Lansing was one of three people killed at Michigan International Speedway, when this tire from Adrian Fernandez's car hopped over the fence.

"At that time it was known that other tracks in particular the Indy track had made safety improvements to increase the height of the fencing and

MIS had not done that before 1998," Graves said.

After a year of legal battles a settlement was reached in the case, but now even 15 years later safety is still a driving concern in the sport.

Just Saturday seven people suffered injuries at a Nationwide race in Daytona.

"For the most part the catch fence, did it's job preventing the car from going into the grandstands," said Michigan International Speedway President Roger Curtis.

Roger Curtis says engineers all across the country review their tracks and make improvements regularly.

"We're constantly sharing best practices with other race tracks and NASCAR," Curtis said.

"We look at the catch fence ourselves before every single event and make sure we are in good shape."

 

Over the past few years, MIS has touched up their inner and outer walls as well as the fence surrounding the track and Curtis says every crash is a reminder to the sport and NASCAR that improvements can always be made because fences can't catch everything.

 

"We absolutely will sit down with them and any recommendations that they make we will follow suit."

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For the safety of the drivers and their devoted fans.

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