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Virginia Motor Speedway

Virginia Motor Speedway News
VIRGINIA MOTOR SPEEDWAY IS SERIOUS ABOUT SAFETY
Jan 25, 2006 - updated Jan 25th, 2006 8:52am
Web posted by Dave Seay

Saluda, VA --

Saluda, VA – There’s an old saying that you can never be too safe. That is exactly how officials at Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway feel when it comes to its fans and competitors.



Heading into the 2006 season the speedway is already one of the safest in the country. From state of the art lighting to the many safety measures taken, VMS is focused on and committed to the safety of its participants and fans. The ½ mile dirt track is surrounded by four tier guardrail on the outside and three tier guardrail on the inside. On top of the guardrail surrounding the speedway is a 10-foot high catch fence protecting the grandstands from any debris and an 8 foot high catch fence surrounding the infield to protect the competitors.



The speedway employs two fully staffed Advance Life Support units each week along with having five staff members EMS certified. Two fully trained and state certified fire crews are on site each week with one of the units being a track owned 300 pound Purple K system for any possible fully engulfed situations. The track staff is also trained in emergency extrication and owns its own Jaws of Life equipment eliminating any chance of that equipment not being available in an emergency.



Safety is taken very seriously and no exceptions are made at any time when it comes to the track or the cars that race at the speedway. Damaged guardrail is replaced and if there is something that needs to be fixed it is done immediately.



During this past off-season track officials have substantially upgraded the safety requirements for the speedway. Track staff are currently hard at work putting the finishing touches on the outside catch fence that has now been transformed into an “INDY style” catch fence with a four-foot overhang making the catch fence now 14 foot high adding more protection for the main grandstands and the turn three grandstands.



“We are continually upgrading the safety aspects of our facility due to situations we hear and read about which are causing drivers and fans to be injured,” commented track General Manager Clarke Sawyer. “The safety of our competitors and fans is first and foremost and it would be foolish not to take notice of the things that can make our facility safer,” added Sawyer.



As another safety measure the speedway will now mandate the use of the Raceceiver System for all divisions during the 2006 season. The Raceceiver system is a one-way communication between the race officials in the tower and the drivers on the track. The system is used to alert the drivers of cautions during the racing action, to help in getting them lined up under cautions and to alert the drivers of safety personnel being on the track.



“We have recognized the need to be able to communicate with the drivers directly during competition to inform them of situations on the race track that they need to be aware of,” commented Sawyer. “We have seen this system in action and we believe it will help keep our racers and staff safer during and while attending to situations on the race track,” added Sawyer.



The speedway will continue to investigate new safety innovations on an ongoing basis to keep the speedway as safe as possible for its fans and competitors.



Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway is a 1/2-mile, dirt oval. The track is located on U.S. Route 17, eight miles north of Saluda, VA and 25 miles south of Tappahannock, VA. The speedway is just a short drive from Richmond, Fredericksburg, Southern Maryland and the Hampton Roads area.



To learn more about Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway and its 2006 schedule of events, fans and competitors may call the Speedway office at (804) 758-1VMS or visit the track online at www.vamotorspeedway.com.



MEDIA CONTACT: DAVE SEAY (804) 758-1867 OR (804) 357-7223


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