Texas Motor Speedway to install protective tire packs for next weekend’s NASCAR races

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Texas Motor Speedway will add a number of tire packs for next weekend’s NASCAR events at the 1.5-mile facility.

According to a report in the Dallas Morning News (Dallas.com), the move is temporary. TMS will install nearly 250 linear feet of tire packs at five separate locations around the track in lieu of adding additional SAFER barrier in those areas after the track’s second yearly NASCAR weekend in early November.

“Why would you not?” TMS President Eddie Gossage said during the track’s annual media day Tuesday in Dallas. “From purely a business standpoint, the worst thing in the world would be to lose one of the assets you’re selling the public … because you maybe could have done something safer.”

A group of engineers and consultants visited TMS on Sunday and recommended installing 244 linear feet of tire packs at five key points on the track. Most notable is 33 feet in Turn 1 and 29 feet in Turn 4, according to the Dallas.com report.

TMS is owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc., which installed similar tire packs for added safety protection for driversfive weeks ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway and a week later at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Those moves follow a decision by NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation to add tire packs for recent races at Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway.

The safety measures come in light of the wreck Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch had in the season-opening Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Busch’s car struck an unprotected concrete wall head-on, resulting in a broken right leg and left foot. Busch is out indefinitely while recovering from the injuries.

TMS installed approximately 6,300 linear feet of SAFER barrier in 2004, according to the Dallas.com report.

Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano, who is the defending champion of next Saturday night’s race, was on hand at Tuesday’s TMS media day and welcomed the track’s announcement about adding extra tire packs.

“I do believe that every wall should be a SAFER barrier,” Logano told Dallas.com. “The investment of the safer barriers is comparatively small considering how bad it (the risk of potential driver injury) can be.

“We’ve shown that if there is an area on a track that has never been hit, we can find those spots.”

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