SAFER barrier to be installed in Turn 1, Turn 4; asphalt in Turn 1 RELATED: Learn about the SAFER barrier Daytona International Speedway announced Wednesday that it plans to install SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier and lay down asphalt to improve safety at the World Center of Racing in advance of its July race weekend. The announcement come less than a month after Kyle Busch suffered a compact fracture to his right lower leg and a mid-foot fracture of his left foot following an accident in the Alert Today Florida 300 XFINITY Series race. In a statement, the track said it "performed an extensive review of the facility and developed a significant plan for additional safety initiatives" with its parent company, International Speedway Corporation (ISC), and NASCAR. Before NASCAR returns to Daytona for July 4th weekend and the Subway Firecracker 250 XFINITY race and the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race, it will implement the following measures: · Additional 20,000 square feet of asphalt in Turn 1 · Realignment of a portion of the inside retaining wall from infield road course exit to Turn 1 · Installation of SAFER barrier (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) on realigned retaining wall and existing retaining wall in Turn 1 · Installation of SAFER barrier on retaining wall at pit road exit · Installation of SAFER barrier between the exit of Turn 4 to pit road entry The realignment of the retaining wall in Turn 1 and installation of SAFER barrier on the realigned and existing retaining wall in Turn 1 address the area where Busch hit the wall. Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III, who vowed to eventually ring the entire racing surface with SAFER barrier after Busch's accident on Feb. 21, also said SAFER barrier would be installed on the backstretch if possible. "In addition, based on material availability and timing, we will install SAFER barrier on the outside backstretch wall and will complete as much as possible prior to the July NASCAR weekend," Chitwood said. "Following the July races, we will complete any remaining installation of SAFER barrier on the outside backstretch wall, and continue to install SAFER barrier on the remaining areas of the property. "We will provide additional updates regarding our safety initiatives as circumstances warrant. The safety of the competitors and our fans is our top priority." While much of Daytona's 2.5-mile track features the impact-absorbing SAFER barrier, the area struck by Busch's car did not. His No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing car skidded across grass into the infield retaining wall in Turn 1. Busch has missed the first three races of the season and is out for an undetermined time with Matt Crafton sitting in for him at the Daytona 500 and David Ragan filling the role in the No. 18 Sprint Cup ride. "We should have had a SAFER barrier there today; we did not," Chitwood said in February. "We're going to fix that. We're going to fix that right now." "This is not going to happen again," he continued. "We're going to live up to our responsibility. We're going to fix this and it starts right now." Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the first NASCAR-sanctioned track to put the barriers in place, completing its initial installation in May of 2002. A second generation of the barrier was installed at IMS in '05. Kansas Speedway completed its first SAFER barrier project in August of '04 and other NASCAR-sanctioned facilities have since upgraded their facilities to include the system as well. Since the season-opening weekend at Daytona, tracks have added safety measures to their facilities and continue to investigate ways to make their venues safer. However, no NASCAR-sanctioned track currently features the energy-reducing materials on all of its interior and exterior walls. NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce contributed to this article. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
A statistical look ahead to the Sprint Cup Series return to Daytona
Red flag lasts 26 minutes after race was stopped 11 laps in
Catch up quickly before the Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona
Race rescheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday on TNT, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR
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The Sprint Cup Series returns to Daytona for its 18th stop of the season
Almirola will pilot patriotic car for two holiday race weekends Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live The U.S. Air Force is joining forces with Richard Petty Motorsports for the seventh consecutive season as a primary sponsor for two races on Aric Almirola 's No. 43 Ford in the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season. Almirola will carry the Air Force logo for the two most patriotic race weekends of the season: Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 (Sunday, May 24, 6 p.m. ET, FOX) and Fourth of July weekend at Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400 (Sunday, July 5, 7:45 p.m. ET, NBC). In addition, the U.S. Air Force will remain an associate partner on the No. 43 Ford for the entire 2015 season. This season marks the U.S. Air Force's 15th in NASCAR. Almirola will also continue to support at-track swear-ins for the Delayed Entry Program and entertain active duty military guests at the track. Almirola won the Coke Zero 400 last summer at Daytona with the U.S. Air Force as his primary sponsor. The victory was his first in the Sprint Cup Series and came on the 30th anniversary of Richard Petty's 200th win. The military branch has a close tie to Almirola as his father served in the U.S. Air Force and Almirola was born on Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. "Working with the Air Force for the past three years has been really rewarding," Almirola said in a team release. "With my dad serving in the Air Force, I understand the sacrifice the men and women make to keep our country safe. It was great to be able to celebrate my first Sprint Cup win with the Air Force, and I'm so glad they will be back as we defend our win in the Coke Zero 400 ." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gets loose and collects several drivers, including Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on lap 20 of the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway.
Aric Almirola and Richard Petty take time to look back at the significance of Aric's first win, but continue to look forward towards the chase, after the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola .