The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), NASCAR, the Talladega Superspeedway, state and local first responders, law enforcement officials, and local businesses recently held a tabletop exercise to test response plans around hypothetical public safety incidents on the day of the GEICO 500.
Participants discussed their roles, shared best practices, and improved coordination mechanisms to help keep the public safe during the GEICO 500 NASCAR Cup Series race, which will be held Sunday, April 25. The exercise is part of an ongoing partnership between those involved and was not in response to any specific threat.
“Today’s exercise was just one of the many examples of the planning and coordination that takes place long before race day to keep fans safe,” said CISA Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security David Mussington. “Everyone has a role to play, and CISA looks forward to continuing to work with our partners throughout the region as we do our part to ensure the race is safe and secure.”
“The safety of every person at the GEICO 500 and all of our events is our top priority,” said Talladega Superspeedway President Brian Crichton. “We want everyone who attends races at NASCAR’s Most Competitive track to always to have a safe, secure experience while here to enjoy the great racing at our world-class facility.”
In addition to the GEICO 500, the track’s tripleheader weekend kicks off on Saturday, April 24, with two events – the General Tire 200 for the ARCA Menards Series and the Ag-Pro 300 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. More information is available at www.talladegasuperspeedway.co.
The public has a critical role to play in security throughout weeks ahead of the GEICO 500 and the track’s support races. CISA encourages anyone attending the race and surrounding events to follow both the guidance of their state and local health officials, and remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to raceway personnel or law enforcement. The Department of Homeland Security’s See Something, Say Something® campaign has more information on reporting suspicious behavior.
CISA works with sports leagues, teams, stadiums and arenas, and other large venues around the country to develop and exercise response plans for all of the potential threats in today’s environment. CISA participates in approximately 30 exercises a year, and the agency has staff strategically located throughout the United States to advise businesses, schools and other organizations of all sizes on ways to enhance their security and resilience. Resources and tools are available on the agency’s website through its Hometown Security initiative.