NASCAR America: Why tire barriers were better than SAFER barrier in Keselowski crash

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NASCAR on NBC analysts Dale Jarrett and Jeff Burton, along with driver Sam Hornish Jr., talked about why the tire barriers Brad Keselowski crashed into during testing at Watkins Glen was better than if he had crashed into a SAFER barrier.

“I like the idea of what Watkins Glen has done there with the tires and the Armco barrier, the give you have,” Jarrett said. “Most accidents that are going to happen there have a good opportunity to be a head-on impact like that. A SAFER barrier in that particular instance and that particular place probably would be more harmful.”

Burton explained why a SAFER barrier is better than a tire barrier at ovals.

“If you wreck at Pocono or somewhere else, the chances are you’re going to hit at a 30-degree angle, so you’re going to be at an angle which you would go through the tires,” he said. “You would be moving them out of the way as opposed to hitting them head-on. That’s why the SAFER barrier works at every other kind of impact.”

Said Hornish: “The tires are a little bit softer. One of the big reasons why they don’t use tires at other places is because most of the time when you hit them, what we saw at Watkins Glen over the past couple of years where they took away a lot of them because they were throwing the car back on to the race track. When you have as much run-off as you do down there in Turn 1 and some of the other faster sections, where you know that when a driver goes off … they know that it’s not going to throw the car back out to the race track where other cars are going to be able to hit that.”