What started as the weekend die-hard Nascar fans wait all year for, quickly turned into a scary and eye-opening incident that the sport will not soon forget. On the final lap of a Nationwide Series race, a 12 car pileup sent Kyle Larson’s racecar flying through the air and debris shooting into the stands, injuring 28. Thankfully, the majority of those hospitalized have already been released and the two most critically injured fans are now stabilized. However, Nascar officials, drivers, and enthusiasts are all forced to wonder what precautions could have been taken to prevent this tragedy or, at the very least, limit the scope of its damage.
One potential safety enhancement to explores the use of classic Blockader steel barriers to shield spectators from materials from the track that could enter the stands. This plan suggests bolting and fastening a horizontal line of Blockader barriers across the first row of seating closest to the track. Do the same for the following five or six rows as needed. These barriers would take the brunt of any debris entering the seating area without compromising the up-close and personal atmosphere Nascar fans have come to love.
While the Daytona 500 weekend concluded without further incident, a repeat of Saturday’s brush with catastrophe remained a constant concern throughout the “Super Bowl of Nascar.” While the injuries sustained were tragic enough, it is not difficult to imagine how this could have had a much deadlier result. It is vital for Nascar officials to learn from this occurrence and better protect their fans in the future.