Fence changes planned before Talladega NASCAR stop

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NASCAR senior vp of operations Steve O’Donnell has confirmed the sanctioning body will look to see what changes can be made to the catch fencing before the Talladega Superspeedway weekend in May.

In an Autosport report, O’Donnell outlined that action will be taken at the two restrictor-plate tracks, Talladega and Daytona, before looking at other potential changes on the remainder of tracks NASCAR races at.

“Really [it’s] a two-phase process we’re looking at,” O’Donnell explained. “Superspeedway racing with Daytona and Talladega is going to be the first concentration for us. We have a race coming up in May at Talladega; anything we can learn in the immediate future that can be applied to Talladega, we’ll do that.”

Improving safety in all aspects of the series remains a daily priority for NASCAR, he said.

He did say Kyle Larson’s car, which got into the fence to begin with, performed as expected since the driver was not injured. Most of the safety elements did their job, he said.

“Our focus is going to be if the elements in the car did their job, or what do we need to do to the impact to the fence,” O’Donnell said.

Alex Zanardi set for Rolex 24 entry in 2019 with BMW

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BMW has announced that ex-Formula 1 and CART racer-turned-Paralympic gold medallist Alex Zanardi will enter the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2019.

Zanardi enjoyed a successful single-seater career before losing both his legs in a crash at the Lausitzring in 2001, appearing to cut his racing ambitions short.

The Italian made a return to motorsport in modified touring cars, and also pursued a career in hand cycling, going on to win four gold medals across the London and Rio Paralympics in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

Zanardi’s next challenge will see him enter the 24-hour endurance sports car race at Daytona International Speedway in 2019, as announced by BMW on Friday night.

More to follow…