Race Journal Online
est. October 4, 2006

"I believe anybody who tells you he is unbiased is a liar. Being human gives you bias, and you can't avoid that. The best you can ever hope to be is fair."
-David Poole

Click to read David Poole tribute


2016 Champion
Jimmie Johnson




2016 Race Winners

Denny Hamlin (2)
Jimmie Johnson (2)
Brad Keselowski (4)
Kevin Harvick (2)
Kyle Busch (4)
Carl Edwards (2)
Matt Kenseth (2)
Martin Truex (2)
Kurt Busch
Joey Logano
Tony Stewart
Chris Buescher
Kyle Larson





Please keep
Karen and Bryson Byrnes
in your daily prayers.
#ByrnesStrong

"When Steve and I were done talking, I felt happier."
-Kenny Wallace, summing it up perfectly for every person who ever met Steve Byrnes.



Please consider giving to

Friends of RJO

Jayski.com

InsiderRacingNews.com

MotorSportsNews.net

The Daly Planet






Relief Drivers

Preventable Deaths: Improving Safety at Local Tracks
Bookmark and Share
By Mike Deutsch | 06/20/2009
Category: Relief Drivers
 

It goes without saying that, while I think water/sand barrels are superior to tractor tires as barriers, I definitely think tires are a better barrier than nothing, and tires are what you often find at your local track.

Race tracks, like many businesses, generally maintain their physical plants in such a manner as to promote maximum productivity and profitability. A track will prefer to, say, widen pit road or add suites for sponsors, before replacing fencing or other on-track barriers. This attitude is abetted, in some aspects, by the "release policy," which basically leaves it up to the competitor to determine if the facility is safe enough for him/her to race. From the competitor's standpoint, however, if he/she doesn't sign the release, they don't race, and they don't get paid. So they sign, accept the risks that may or may not be evident to them, and unload the car.

It's only when there is a highly-publicized incident, like in the death of Dale Earnhardt, or when a rash of losses occurs as we had in the pavement Modified class back in the 80s, that public outcry demands action be taken. Thus, we have large foam blocks up against the walls of many Northeast short tracks, and SAFER barriers in NASCAR/IndyCar land. But, this is a reactive approach, rather than a proactive one.

What is needed is some sort of prodding on the part of sanctioning bodies, insurers, fan clubs, etc., to encourage these track operators -- in and out of the U.S. -- to upgrade their facilities. Perhaps a well-organized boycott, or the loss of a couple of touring-series dates, could be the deciding factor.

The loss of Senor Prado is tragic, and my heart goes out to his family, friends, and fans. Maybe this will inspire a post-Earnhardt-styled debate as to whether NASCAR Mexico and/or its member tracks are doing all they can to promote competitor safety.

I realize that most, if not all, short tracks are squeezed for cash these days, and I'm not sure if the revenue-sharing plan suggested by Richard (NASCAR using the annual collected fines and dividing them between the 75-or-so NASCAR-sanctioned local tracks, resulting in thousands of dollars towards each one every year) would help that. But some methodology -- subsidies by sanctioning bodies; lowered insurance costs; maybe fund-raising by fan club groups -- could be found to buy even the most rudimentary barrier improvements. Every little bit helps, right?

Share  

 

Comments:
eddo
06/20/2009 4:39 pm (1)
sadly, most of the time safety = money, and those on a tighter budget often end up having to choose between safety and speed.

With racers, speed usually wins out.
giluvracing
06/20/2009 8:18 pm (2)
That's been pretty much the case all along. Years and years ago, Bobby Allison sat down with an insurance company, and put together a long-term disability plan designed for race drivers. And I mean all of them. Bobby, as you'll recall, was old-school. He'd race several times a week, dirt, asphalt, bullring, wherever. And everywhere he went, he'd talk to drivers about this insurance package. For the cost of, say, a right rear, they could get coverage that would protect their families in the case of a catastrophic wreck.

Trouble is, most of them bought the tire.

Of course, you know what happened...Bobby got into a bad wreck at Pocono, and his career came to an end. But, his insurance coverage was top-notch, and he came out of it in pretty decent shape -- financially, at least.

Still...even with 20-plus years of bad wrecks behind us...racers will still buy the darn tire.
davis88
06/21/2009 8:46 am (3)
And unfortunately, yesterday,Saturday, we had a death ,also... That`s 2 in 1 week, Jayski reported it if you wish to read about it...No matter how safe they make it, drivers will always take their lives in their hands when they drive...
ozzygreybear
07/15/2009 11:57 am (4)
From 1 Sr. Citizen to another: Way to rock, Mark Martin & his #5. I'm sure hopin' this is his year to win the elusive Championship he deserves! Rock on Mark, a big CHEERS!
It is hard to dive into the Jeremy Mayfield
story, since it is not a criminal charge, the presumptive 'innocent until proven guilty' does not apply to Civil action. It is heartbreaking to see all this happen, be it Jeremy of anyone else who runs afoul of the drug testing as applied by NASCAR. Bottom line is you sure as hell do not want to be on the same track doing 200mph with anyone, anywhere, who has failed a drug test.

You must be logged-in to comment on articles.

Click here to login
or
Register for free.

 


Find more RJO at:


Race Journal Online
FORUM





Official Rules of New Chase Format

2014 Penalty/Deterrent System



TV Times are only estimates
Sprint Cup 2016 Schedule
Saturday night races in red


Feb 21 1pm FOX Daytona
Feb 28 1pm FOX Atlanta

Mar 06 3pm FOX Las Vegas
Mar 13 3pm FOX Phoenix
Mar 20 3pm FOX Fontana
Mar 29 1pm FS1 Martinsvl
Mar 27 OFF (Easter)

Apr 03 1pm FOX Martinsville
Apr 09 7pm FOX Texas
Apr 17 1pm FOX Bristol
Apr 24 1pm FOX Richmond

May 01 1pm FOX Talladega
May 07 7pm FS1 Kansas
May 15 1pm FOX Dover
May 21 7pm FS1 All Star
May 29 6pm FOX Charlotte

Jun 05 1pm FS1 Pocono
Jun 12 1pm FS1 Michigan
Jun 19 OFF
Jun 26 3pm FS1 Sonoma

Jul 02 7pm NBC Daytona
Jul 09 7pm NBCSN Kentucky
Jul 17 1pm NBCSN New Hampshr
Jul 24 3pm NBCSN Indy
Jul 31 1pm NBCSN Pocono

Aug 07 2pm NBCSN WatGlen
Aug 14 OFF
Aug 20 8pm NBCSN Bristol
Aug 28 2pm NBCSN Michigan

Sep 04 6pm NBC Darlington
Sep 10 7pm NBCSN Richmond


The Chase

Round of 16

Sep 18 2pm NBCSN Chicago
Sep 25 2pm NBCSN New Hampshr
Oct 02 2pm NBCSN Dover

Round of 12

Oct 08 7pm NBC Charlotte
Oct 16 2pm NBC Kansas
Oct 23 2pm NBCSN Talladega

Round of 8

Oct 30 1pm NBCSN Martinsvl
Nov 06 2pm NBC Texas
Nov 13 2pm NBC Phoenix

Championship 4

Nov 20 2pm NBC Homestead








Copyright © 2009 Carol Einarsson, All Rights Reserved.
Site Design by Distinctive Technology Consulting