Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Could NASCAR's safety solutions have applications to other professional sports?

   As NASCAR begins its investigation into Monday's last-lap wreck during the Coke Zero 400 that tore a giant hole in the frontstretch catchfence at Daytona International Speedway which left five fans injured, it's possible any new solutions that arise could be applied to other professional sports.

   Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer, was asked Tuesday about the work being done on any 'next-generation' catchfence solutions and whether something new was on the horizon.

   O'Donnell opened the door to searching for new technologies that could be applied to any sport with a playing field.

   "I think the catch fence, first and foremost, is there to obviously keep the car from going through, and I think it did that. I think the next iteration that we would look at, it may not be a fence make, but what are the new technologies that are out there," he said.

   "I think this is an area for all sports to look at, with anything either flying away from a playing field or a racing surface. If we can lead in that area, we want to do just that. I wouldn't make it specific to a fence. There could be a lot of new technologies that we could look at collectively with the tracks to make some improvements in that area."