With vehicles traveling as fast as 200 miles per hour, the track was once thought to be the most dangerous place at NASCAR events, but a recent incident changed that.
NASCAR recently confirmed that it will evaluate the safety at the tracks following the death of a fan who was struck by lightning at the Pocono Raceway, which also led to nine people being injured.
A severe storm warning was issued for the area at 4:12 p.m.and NASCAR called the race at around 4:54 p.m. after 98 laps had been completed at the Pennsylvania 400 race, informing the crowd of an estimated 85,000 and advising them to take cover over public address systems and social media.
The thunderous weather led to the death of 41-year-old Brian Zimmerman, who stood near his car with the back hatch open in the raceway parking, according to the Monroe County coroner. Considering the stormy weather was seen on radars, some believe that NASCAR could have done a better job of providing timely warning to fans who were coming out to the track for the race as a result of NASCAR's officials admitting that they knew of the thunderstorm warning 40 minutes before the race was stopped.
Higdon added that NASCAR is looking at how the track carried out its emergency procedures and proceeded to warn critics about rushing to judgment.
"Anytime something like this happens, we make sure we look at it again and see if there's anything we should have done different," said Dave Higdon, NASCAR spokesman. "It's never a good day for us when someone passes and people are hurt."
Other officials have stated that safety is the top priority of the organization and safety procedures would be thoroughly reviewed to do as much as possible to prevent something like this from happening again in the future.
"At the end of the day, it's Mother Nature, and it's very difficult for anyone to take responsibility and say, 'Hey, we should have done this or should have done that,'" driver Carl Edwards said of the Pocono event.
NASCAR CEO Brian France has already promised to improve the performance on the track this season, following lackluster finishes at previous races this years.