Phoenix International Raceway has confirmed that the installation of its SAFER wall system is underway and should be completed by the first event of the 2004 season - NASCAR's Winter Heat on 24-25 January.

PIR joins Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Richmond International Raceway, New Hampshire International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway as the only tracks to have SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) walls in place at the moment.

The barriers run continuously for 1550 feet from turn one through turn two, and for another 1650 feet starting again at turn three all the way through turn four. The walls are 40.5 inches high and contain steel tubes and 22-inch thick blocks of Styrofoam that are placed between the original wall and the new wall.

"We have spent the past year making PIR a safer place to race," circuit president Bryan Sperber said, "Last fall, we moved the turn two wall out twelve feet in order to make it safer for the drivers and promote better racing action on the track. In my eyes, the installation of SAFER walls just finishes the overall project. We want the drivers and teams to understand that we are doing everything we can to make their experience at PIR a positive one."

Opened in 1964, PIR was once known as the 'World's Fastest One-Mile Oval' and, while it may no longer hold the title, the track is still one of the most challenging, with different banking on either end of the track, as well as an additional dogleg left in the middle of the backstretch.

 

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