'11 A Year for Safety Upgrades at Pocono Raceway

'11 A Year for Safety Upgrades at Pocono Raceway

(LONG POND, Pa. - August 4, 2011) - Known primarily for its unusual triangular shape and a crafty mix of oval track and road course characteristics, Pocono Raceway has - below the general radar - endured criticism in recent years for safety shortfalls. Before the 2011 season, however, track officials decided to do something about that.

In June, upon the most recent ARCA and NASCAR trip to the 2.5-mile triangle in the Pocono Mountains, sports editor Mike Kuhns of The Pocono Record examined the track's notable improvements, all of which will ensure safe races for drivers in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and other racing series for years to come.

Two significant crashes in 2010 yielded worry from drivers, teams, and officials across all series; in turn, Pocono Raceway acted on $3 million of safety improvements for the 2011 season.

For example, over a mile of new catch fence is now in place around the track's outside, meant to keep any objects - such as an airborne car - from flying out of the race track in an incident. An excerpt from Kuhns' June 10 article follows:

The track last fall invested $2 million to $3 million, installing 5,000 feet of safer barrier on the inside walls of the track and 6,000 feet of catch fence on the outside. The improvements are meant to keep 3,400 pounds of metal traveling at speeds in excess of 170 mph from hurtling from the track.

"The sport keeps changing, and you've got to keep changing with it," said track president Brandon Igdalsky.

To read more from Kuhns’ article about Pocono Raceway’s safety upgrades - titled "Crashes, driver complaints prompt Pocono Raceway to spend $3M on safety" - click here.

The ARCA Safety Initiative is the culmination of forward thinking, combined efforts, and the desire to achieve a higher level of responsibility within the safety sector of the ARCA sanctioning body. In all, the Safety Initiative is designed to steer the safety efforts of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, as well as all action at Toledo Speedway and Flat Rock Speedway, ARCA's signature track properties.