Motor racing is quite safe when the driver has complete control of the car. It only gets dangerous when the car is out of control, and beyond the drivers ability to regain control. That's why race tracks have runoff areas and gravel pits. Solid walls are only used where a car would strike a glancing blow.
Putting a K-rail at the end of a drag strip is not a good idea. Yet that is what happened here, killing the driver.