POCONO RACEWAY -- Some improvements at Pocono Raceway in Monroe County should make the track safer for drivers. The raceway has installed additional safety barriers.
The steel and foam energy resistant barrier, or the SAFER barrier, as it's called, now stretches around the entire track.
With the relatively mild winter, directors tell us they were able to cover a lot of ground to make sure it was ready for the NASCAR race in June.
From the eyes of a person sitting in the stands, the wall around the track at Pocono Raceway looks like a normal wall.
The SAFER barrier is designed to absorb some of the impact from a crash.
"There is steel tubing that is all welded together, but the real safety factor is the foam that is behind it and what it is doing is that it's compressing the foam and it's dissipating the energy on a much wider scale, and this has saved countless lives to this point," said Pocono Raceway COO Nick Igdalsky.
More than 5,000 feet of the steel and foam energy resistant barrier has been added to the Tricky Triangle, part of a safety improvement project that started in the early 2000s.
Now the track is completely protected.
"We now have the third-most SAFER barrier of any track in the world," said Igdalsky. "Daytona and Talladega are the first two and we are closely behind in almost 4.5 miles of SAFER barrier."
The barrier was just completed over the last few months and even though the project took a few years to come together, they are actually a year ahead of schedule.
Directors at the raceway say the relatively warm winter allowed them to complete the front stretch of the track as well as areas between turns two and three.
"It really ramped up over the last five years, so within the last three years, we actually went above and beyond the mandate that was sent down to us and we had a three-phase process and we got it down to two. So it's a year ahead of schedule because we wanted to ensure the safety of all the competitors," Igdalsky added.
Tickets for this year's race season are available and the first NASCAR race takes off in June.