GEORGE RECEIVES SAFETY AWARD FOR SAFER BARRIER AT USAC GALA INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Jan. 30, 2006 -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and Chief Executive Officer Tony George received the Jack O'Neal Safety Award for his role in the creation...
GEORGE RECEIVES SAFETY AWARD FOR SAFER BARRIER AT USAC GALA
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Jan. 30, 2006 -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and Chief Executive Officer Tony George received the Jack O'Neal Safety Award for his role in the creation of the revolutionary SAFER Barrier on Jan. 28 during the United States Auto Club Champions Night.
IMS Director of Engineering and Construction Kevin Forbes accepted the award on behalf of George at the annual prize-giving event, which took place at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Forbes supervised the installation of the energy-absorbing barriers at the Speedway and helped develop the system.
The O'Neal Safety Award is one of several that George and the SAFER Barrier development team have won for motorsports engineering and innovation. In 2002, they received the Louis Schwitzer Award, SEMA Motorsports Engineering Award and GM Racing Pioneer Award. George received the inaugural Pioneering and Innovation Award at the Autosport Awards Dec. 5, 2004, in London for his leadership in the development of the SAFER Barrier.
George was one of two IMS officials honored at the Champions Night. Longtime IMS Historian Donald Davidson received USAC's Eddie Edenburn Award. Davidson formerly also served as USAC statistician and historian.
The SAFER Barrier first was installed on the four outside retaining walls of the Speedway's historic 2.5-mile oval in May 2002 after nearly four years of development by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy Racing League and University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Midwest Roadside Safety Facility. NASCAR joined in the development of the project in September 2000.
Since its first installation, the SAFER Barrier has been adopted by nearly every major oval-racing facility in America.
An improved, second-generation SAFER Barrier was installed at IMS in March 2005 based on data collected from racing impacts during events. The improvements included a fifth steel tube added to the exterior, a slight curvature of the barrier to provide a smoother surface, improved attachment points and a universal Styrofoam shape that is compatible with both IndyCars and stock cars.
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