George, Sicking earn prestigious SEMA Engineering Award.
Award is second major recognition for SAFER Barrier in two days

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2002 -- Members of one of the world's leading automotive equipment and manufacturing organizations, SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association), honored Tony George and Dr. Dean Sicking with the prestigious 2002 SEMA Motorsports Engineering Award in recognition of their leadership in creating the groundbreaking SAFER Barrier energy-absorbing system.

The award was presented Dec. 3 in conjunction with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) during the 2002 Motorsports Engineering Conference and Exhibition in Indianapolis.

George, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League, has been instrumental in providing overall leadership for the SAFER Barrier project from initial concept, through the development process and to actual application. Sicking, director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, led the team of researchers and engineers that created the barrier.

The SEMA Motorsports Engineering Award is presented only once every two years, and its recipients must represent "the advancement of the state of the art in engineering," according to SEMA's nomination criteria.

"It's an honor to be recognized by the Society of Automotive Engineers," George said. "I think that this recognition for the SAFER Barrier's introduction is one of the high points of our year. I receive this award on behalf of many people who have put in a lot of time and effort into the development of the SAFER Barrier. My credit goes to them for all their work."

Previous SEMA Motorsports Engineering Award recipients include: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, NASCAR and Roush Industries in 1994 for the creation of NASCAR roof flaps; Pi Research Ltd. in 1996 for its tire monitoring device; Lear Corporation and Stewart Grand Prix in 1998 for the Formula One extractable seat system; and DaimlerChrysler, Hubbard/Downing Inc. and the FIA in 2000 for the HANS Device.

George's acceptance of the SEMA award marks the second time in consecutive days that he was presented a prestigious award related to motorsports safety initiatives.

On Dec. 2, General Motors presented George, the Hulman-George family and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the GM Racing Pioneer Award for the many groundbreaking safety inventions and initiatives that have occurred at IMS, with the SAFER Barrier being the most recent.