Safety upgrades at Thunderbolt Track

August 29, 2008 9:10:05 PM PDT
The Thunderbolt track in Millville, New Jersey will be the site race fans flock to this weekend. But, there will be some new safety changes after a close call on Thursday.

The track's co-owner says driver Scot Pruet was trying to avoid a car that spun out in front of him, but ended up slamming into the wall that separates the track from the pit crews. He's okay, but his car split into three pieces.

It was also a close call in the pits.

"The front half of the car came in and narrowly missed a car that was up on jacks," said driver James Hunt. "We got lucky that no one was hurt."

After the crash the owners of Motorsport Park voluntarily shut down the Thunderbolt Track and had crews working through the night to add an extra 240 feet of guardrail and sand barrels near the entrance to the pits.

"By extending the guardrail it has limited the access an out-of-control car has to the pits," said Trooper Steve Slimowicz of the New Jersey State Police. "It's a lot safer for the pit crew."

"We wanted to err on the cautious side rather than open up on a track that had a band-aid repair," said track co-owner Joe Savaro.

The track is ready for racing this weekend.

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