NASCAR to evaluate safety changes following Austin Dillon crash

NASCAR will explore new technologies to improve fan and driver safety following the massive accident at the end of Monday's Sprint Cup race at Daytona

NASCAR to evaluate safety changes following Austin Dillon crash

Five fans sustained minor injuries when a multi-car pile-up at the finish of the rain-delayed event sent Austin Dillon's Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet flying into the catch-fencing.

NASCAR's executive vice president Steve O'Donnell said that while the Daytona fence had performed as expected, the series would investigate what else could be changed.

"The catch fence, first and foremost, is there to keep the car from going through, and it did that," he said.

"The next iteration that we would look at may not be a fence make, but what are the new technologies that are out there?

"This is an area for all sports to look at, with anything either flying away from a playing field or a racing surface.

Johnson "shocked Dillon is even alive"

"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."

Dillon's car has been taken back to NASCAR's research facility in Charlotte as part of the crash investigation.

O'Donnell said changes were possible in time for the next restrictor-plate race at Talladega in October if required.

"Anything that we can do to continue to make the racing as safe as possible and have the fans in as safe an environment as possible, we will do that heading into Talladega," said O'Donnell.

Dillon escaped the crash with bruising and believes NASCAR will find ways to reduce the risk of cars getting airborne without fundamentally altering the style of pack racing seen on the large ovals.

"We can do some things to prevent these accidents for sure," said Dillon.

"They'll look at the car and figure out ways to keep them on the ground.

"We can do things to help slow down some of the wrecks and that might keep us from catching air.

"We can give them a good opinion to make the racing still stay the same."

MORE TWEAKS TO HELP PASSING

NASCAR has also announced aerodynamic rules tweaks for another four events in a bid to improve the quality of racing.

Initial changes were already in place for this weekend's race at Kentucky Speedway, and the low downforce package being used there will be mandated again for Darlington in September.

The Michigan and Indianapolis races later in July will feature a higher-drag set-up.

There will also be a change of Goodyear tyre compound for the Richmond race in September - the final event before the Chase cut-off.

"We've been really candid with our intentions of looking at our racing development and identifying possible venues where we can field a specific rules package for each track that we feel will enhance the racing," said O'Donnell

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Jimmie Johnson "shocked Dillon is even alive" after Daytona crash
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