Daytona wreck raises concerns about safety at PIR

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by Tami Hoey

azfamily.com

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 26 at 10:59 PM

PHOENIX -- Saturday's horrifying crash at the Daytona Speedway has many folks wondering whether it could happen here in the Valley.

Phoenix International Raceway is hosting the Subway Fresh Fit 500 race this weekend. But safety experts say we're not likely to see a similar accident.

Race fans injured during final lap at Daytona Nationwide race

"Wrecks at open-wheeled events or Nascar events are relatively common. It's part of the experience," says venue security expert Steven Adelman. "But vehicles that shred like the one that happened Saturday at Daytona, that's actually very unusual."

Although it's part of the thrill of the race to sit up close, Adelman told Scott Pasmore on Monday's Good Morning Arizona that fans should actually be seated a little ways back from the fence.

"So you have this 22-foot-high fence, with a four foot curvature over the track, all designed to keep the vehicles, even if they become airborne, to keep them on the track and out of the stands," Adelman explains.

The fence at PIR that separates the track from the fans is actually much stronger than a regular chain link fence.

"There are metal supports going vertically, there are cables running horizontally" Adelman says. "there's a chain link fence which is designed to keep debris and the nose of the car out of the grandstands.The vast, vast majority of the time, that all works."

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