HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Chesterfield County native Denny Hamlin will not race at Richmond International raceway this weekend, his fourth consecutive missed race since injuring his back during a wreck during a race in California last month.
Since his injury, Hamlin has been outspoken about the use of SAFER (steel and foam energy reduction) barriers at NASCAR tracks. The “soft walls,” which are lined with steel and insulated with a type of foam, greatly reduce the amount of force with which cars hit the wall. Since 2005, NASCAR has required all oval tracks they race at install the barriers in turns.
However, Hamlin and many in the NASCAR community feel the barriers should be installed all the way around every track. It costs approximately $500 per foot to install the “soft walls.”
Aimee Turner, Director of Public Relations for Richmond International Raceway, discussed efforts to improve driver and fan safety at NASCAR races.