The track has released a rendering of a proposed change to the walls at the track following the crash
Race track openings have been a discussion point forever. The problem stems from the need to separate the racing surface and the cars on it from the spectators.
In doing so, it places solid objects for drivers to hit during a loss of control. At the same time, drivers need to enter and exit the race track in a timing manor. That last issues creates blunt walls for drivers to hit.
There’s multiple ways of doing it. Some tracks just put walls all the way the inside and outside of the race track. They then use overlapping walls or pit gate to allow cars to enter and exit the race track.
When using a gate, local tracks then need to hire a crew member to work such a gate. That’s not exactly an ideal situation for a suffering industry.
JP Roberts Jr is a dirt modified driver in the Mid-Ohio region. During the weekend of the Atomic 100, Roberts Jr was three and four wide racing in turn one after starting at the tail of the field.
Roberts was moving to the front in a hurry. Until he got to turn three, he slid up the banking at the entry and jumped the cushion at Atomic Speedway. By turn three, Roberts had been thrown into an immediate stop.
I’ve been told that the construction of the wall in turn three has been modified several times. In the most recent edition, it left a wall end joint which is covered by big tires and some hay.
JP Roberts hit the beginning of that wall and came to a complete stop on April 28th. Several videos are posted below, including an in-car view show the accident that took place.
JP Roberts on the crash at Atomic Speedway
“First and foremost I am ok. Thanks to the safety crew at Atomic Speedway for their fast response this evening,” Roberts opened the night of the crash.
“I want to start off by saying that my crash was no ones fault but my own. I drove the car into the corner and hit some slime on the top groove and the car went into a drift straight into the wall.”
“The plan as of now is to get a new frame and come back out racing in the very near future. The frame we have now needs a front clip and I think it’s faster for us to get back onto the track this way.”
“Diamond race cars definitely builds a safe race car. The race car did what it was supposed to do and kept me safe. Thank you to everyone from fellow competitors to fans for either stopping by and checking on me this evening.”
Roberts concluded, “Also thanks to everyone who has messaged or called me this evening. Race cars can be replaced! I’ll keep everyone updated over the next few weeks on when we will have a race car back on the track!”
Atomic Speedway to adjust wall configuration following crash
On Tuesday, the track posted the following announcement via social media:
Owner Brad McCown informed track officials this afternoon that the high banks of Atomic Speedway will be enclosed with a wall surrounding the track between May 26th – June 14th.
“It’s the right time to make this happen” said McCown. The construction will not effect any scheduled races or events at this time.
A rendering of how the wall will look and the flow of cars can be seen below. Please keep all comments in a positive manner as we move forward with the safety of our race teams in mind.