Atlanta adding more SAFER barriers ahead of 2016 season

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Atlanta Motor Speedway has announced that the 1.5-mile track will install additional sections of SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers to its walls in time for the 2016 racing season.

Beginning in January AMS will install a total of 4,742 linear feet of the barrier to the inside walls in both corners as well as sections of the inside and outside walls on the front and backstretch.

This is in addition to the existing 8,000 linear feet that was installed in 2004 that covered 75 percent of the outer walls, as well as sections inside Turn 2.

“The safety of both drivers and fans continues to be our utmost priority,” track president Ed Clark said in a release. “These additions solidify our commitment to providing the safest racing environment possible and the high-quality entertainment experience our fans deserve.”

The installation comes after multiple tracks added more SAFER following Kyle Busch‘s crash in the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway that injured his right leg and left foot and sidelined him for 11 Sprint Cup races.

Atlanta took some criticism the following week when Jeff Gordon was involved in a wreck that resulted in his No. 24 Chevrolet hitting a section of the inside wall on the backstretch that did not have SAFER installed.

Atlanta joins Darlington Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway, sister track Texas Motor Speedway,  Martinsville Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Michigan International Speedway in adding more SAFER.

AMS will play host to the second race of the 2016 Sprint Cup season with the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on Sunday, Feb. 28.