NASCAR Changes Jet Dryer Policy After Daytona 500 Incident

Beginning with today's Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix, NASCAR will deploy an extra caution car to trail jet dryers and warn drivers to slow down when passing trucks filled with explosive jet fuel.

NASCAR informed the drivers of the change to its jet dryer policy at Sunday's pre-race drivers meeting, and it is clearly a reaction to Juan Pablo Montoya's collision with a jet dryer during the Daytona 500.

"When we're out there on the racetrack, we have a shared responsibility of slowing down in the area where (safety workers) are out there working," race director David Hoots told the drivers. "... There's no toleration for speeding by them."

Montoya was traveling in excess of 100 mph when his car suddenly broke during Monday night's Daytona 500, sending him careening into a jet dryer. Both the jet dryer and Montoya's vehicle blew up, but neither driver was injured.

Hoots said the caution car trailing the jet dryers will have all its lights on and remind drivers to slow down when approaching both the jet dryers and other safety vehicles.

"Not just for the jets, but the rescue personnel, the firetrucks, everyone," he said. "Let them do their jobs -- and do them well -- and be respectful of them out there on the racetrack."

In addition, NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said jet dryer drivers will be required to wear firesuits and helmets from now on.

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