As our colleague Viv Bernstein writes, the end of the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., was marred by a wreck that injured spectators and sheared the front from one of the cars. A report The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported on some of the immediate details: Dozens of safety workers went into the stands and have carried several people out on stretchers to a line of at least eight ambulances waiting below and behind the stands. Safety workers appeared to carry patients from at least two sections of the grandstands, while they worked
Comments: Once again, another amazing sight to see, especially when the drivers get out and just walk away. My point is, what is wrong with our vehicles that they disintegrate in less speeds, and kill and maim more often than not the occupants? Congress, with all its legislation is going the wrong way in "protecting" US on the highways, while paying off Unions & their members to deliver the deathtraps we now drive.
Obviously these cars are driven by professionals and are designed to be competitive. The vehicles on the highways, however, are assault-type vehicles and should be banned. Look how many women and children are killed every year by these unnecessary assault-cars. Just because the military uses them doesn´t mean everyone should be able to have one. No one needs them..../s
I was at the CART (open wheel race) at Michigan Int´l speedway when the front suspension from Andrian Fernandez´s car broke away from his car as he entered the 4th turn and flew into the stands killing 3.
The people were killed in the section right next to ours and I still see it in my mind. It hit the men and their cooler and then bounced up behind them and hit a few other people.
It was terrifying. My heart and prayers go out to the people who were injured and who witnessed the horrific event.
NASCAR has "engineered" these problems. The car designs are manipulated to assure 20-plus car packs, traveling inches apart, assuring last-lap "races to finish"- almost guaranteeing a huge crash (sort of like manipulating football rules so that every game goes down to the last play). Should a faster car emerge, count on a caution flag for "debris", bunching the field back together. Hitting other cars, or even spinning out competitors is not penalized, it is encouraged. "Restrictor plate" races always include 15-20 car crashes. This is not real motor racing, it is World Wrestling Entertainment on wheels.
#4, my husband is a huge car enthusiast but will not follow NASCAR because of this..." Hitting other cars, or even spinning out competitors is not penalized, it is encouraged." To this I ask, what price is too high? Does a death justify a win?
"The worst crash in the history of motorsports occurred on this date 57 years ago during the 24 HOURS OF LE MANS. The accident claimed the life of the driver involved, Pierre Levegh, as well as 83 spectators, and changed forever the previously cavalier attitude toward safety in racing."
Liberals hate NASCAR. Everything humans do involves some risk, which can´t be eliminated with nanny government. Accidents are gruesome and horrible, but living in a risk free bubble suit in some cave would be worse. Watch out folks; government is trying to eliminate pro football, and would gleefully restrict stock car racing, the sport of the conservative bitter clingers; all while banning guns, and "making safer bullets".
Without the design changes of the last 15 years, this sport would have already died. The cars are specifically engineered so the force of a crash is distributed and the driver walks away. If we did that to passenger cars, we would also have to have helmets, full body seat belts, etc., and parts would fly off when we crashed, potentially killing other people who wouldn´t be behind a fence. Having said that, all of us who work in emergency preparedness in any industry know that you can´t prepare for everything - something new will always happen.
#7 - each day´s race is a different series, with separate cars and mostly different drivers.
Grew up on the East End in the 50´s and watched Walt Hansgen driving for Briggs Cunningham at the Bridgehampton Track. Guess the place is mostly overgrown these days. Don´t remember hearing much about accidents happening there, though.
It is to be expected that, in the face of a tragic incident like this, people who know nothing about auto racing will have no hesitation in voicing opinions. This is especially true of that great sports center, The New York Times who cover NASCAR once or twice a year if it provides an opportunity for sensationalism.
I´ve been an auto racing fan, particularly NASCAR, for more than fifty years and I can tell you that NASCAR has worked tirelessly on safety issues, both on the track and off. The LeMans debacle in 1955, CART in 1998 and IndyCar in 1999 all resulted in fatalities. I believe in its ongoing research into car and track safety as well as limiting speeds, NASCAR is doing everything it can.
As Tony Stewart put it so eloquently in his subdued interview after his win, NASCAR members understand and accept the risks of the sport but that should not and does not extend to the fans.
All of that said, the fact of yesterday´s injuries is painful to contemplate and all we can do is offer our prayers to those affected.
No benefit will reach the injured by cancelling today´s Sprint Cup Series race. Attendance of 150,000 is possible, although not likely as attendance has dropped in recent years. They´ve spent eyepopping amounts of money on travel, accommodations, food and tickets for what is NASCAR´s ´super bowl´ event of the year. To turn them all around and send them home would serve no purpose.
I saw the whole thing live as it happened. It was beyond belief to see the #32 car being ripped in half like that. And the one thing that I heard as the drivers involved in the crash was the one that started the whole thing (Reagan Smith) said that he was leading be a slim margin and swevered to block anothe driver that was attemping to pass him. He clipped the front end of that car and hell broke out. That type of driving should be banned, but all of them do it. It seldom does what it´s intended to do and usually causes these massive types of crashes. And the "catch fences" need to be strengthed too.
The history of nascar involves a fair amount of pushing and shoving. It was bootleggers running for their freedom from cops. The fact that all the drivers walked away yesterday is testimony to all the safety improvements mandated over the years by nascar. I did notice that the instigator (regan smith) was the only driver that did not express concern for the injured (at least on the channel I was watching). On the other hand, tony stewart was quite eloquent and classy . As they say, that´s racing. Prayers for the injured and their families.
Reply 22 - Posted by:
Red Jeep, 2/24/2013 10:52:43 AM (No. 9193490)
Got 100´s of millions of dollars? Put the Grandstands inside the track oval, in the middle of the oval. The centrifugal force of the cars carries them to the outside of the oval, not the inside.
Reply 23 - Posted by:
Hard Nard, 2/24/2013 11:01:13 AM (No. 9193503)
Years ago, in 1973, an accident in the Indy 500 hurt/burned people in the first few rows along a section of the front stretch. USAC responded by removing the first few rows to move the fans back from the fence. It might be time to do that at the Nascar Superspeedways. I´m not sure what can be done to prevent the pieces that fly so high they hit the upper parts of the stands.
I agree that the restrictor plates should come off but speeds will have to be reduced in other ways, such as narrower tires (less cornering speed), lower rear spoilers (less downforce), or reducing the banking thereby slowing the cars overall speed. But when all things are considered there is still more danger to the drivers than to the fans.
The last thing we need are are the pundits/public who have never had an interest in the sport forcing changes that would ruin it. There are no "safe" sports.
Actually #9 there was a segment not long ago showing a reporter at a NASCAR race asking people in the crowd if they supported obama. The majority unfortunatley said that they did. Low information voters are are in every segment of society. Most Ameicans are more intersted in entertainment: Sports, Reality TV, Movies, Concerts, and the next best watering hole than the cold hard reality of the world.
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