I don’t intend to hang a big, black cloud over the race that is scheduled to start in about one hour, the “Superbowl of Racing,” the Daytona 500. Race fans look forward to another season of spectacular driving, and talented drivers. Yesterday’s accident, during the NASCAR Nationwide, marred the victory for veteran driver Tony Stewart, as two cars collided, sending one of the car’s motor and some of its tires through a hole in the fence, caused by the impact, or over the fence, injuring approximately 28 persons. Fourteen were taken to a nearby hospital and the other fourteen were treated at the track.
Through the years, NASCAR’s focus has been on safety – not only of the drivers, but also that of the pit crews, tracks, and fans, and of course, safer cars. Maintaining safety for the cars and drivers is a challenge for both NASCAR and the owners and designers, because cars are becoming faster and faster. Yesterday’s freak accident may deter some fans from attending, but I am betting most of them will go back for today’s race.
The accident involved twelve cars, but none of the drivers were injured. Stewart, when interviewed, stated, “We’ve always known since racing started, this is a dangerous sport, but it’s hard. We assume that risk, but it’s hard when fans get caught up in it….I could see it all in my mirror, and it didn’t look good from where I was at.”
One neat thing for female fans, is that Danica Patrick won the pole position for today’s race. It will be interesting to see where she finishes today. She is a very tiny person, 5’2”, and around 100 pounds, but she has proven to be as tough as the guys. Many of the drivers will attest to it. Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards both took their daughters to meet her last week, at the Stewart-Haas garage.
If you plan to attend any NASCAR events, Texas America Safety Company has NASCAR hardhats, which might prove to make you a little safer, and also fun to wear at work. For sure, you could also use some quality hearing protection earplugs. It gets noisy out there.
Let’s send our thoughts and prayers out to those fans who were injured yesterday, that fans, drivers, and crews have a very safe day today and throughout the racing season.