November 14, 2019

Is Watching NASCAR Safe?

ATTENTION NASCAR FANS: Before you buy your next ticket to the track, ask yourself one question – Is my last will and testament up to date?

If you missed the final lap of the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday, then you not only missed a thrilling ending to the worlds fastest sport, but you also missed one of the most terrifying situations in racing.

A last lap crash, on the front stretch…with a car going airborne…and heading straight towards the fans.

In case you missed it here’s a replay…

If that catch fence fails or Carl Edwards’ car is a few feet higher, then we would have an awful tragedy being broadcast all over the news today. Eight NASCAR fans were treated for minor injuries as a result of the accident, but no one, including none of the drivers, was seriously hurt. In fact, Carl Edwards stepped out of his car and jogged to finish line in a symbolic finish to the race

Is it a testament to the technology and engineering that no one is mourning a loved one today or is it just divine intervention? Maybe its a little bit of both. The fact that no fan was seriously hurt is amazing. The fact that Carl Edwards isn’t in a hospital is a amazing.

So the question remains: Even though no one was seriously hurt, is it safe to sit in the stands and watch a NASCAR race?

I think the answer for race fans is yes.

First, consider the odds of being in position on a track to witness this type of wreck. They are pretty big and you would have a better chance of getting in an accident after the race just trying to get out of the parking area.

Second, this doesn’t mean that NASCAR and the track owners will not be investigating the mechanics of this crash for months to come. You can say what you want about this sport but I believe on thing to be true…safety is a number one concern for all involved.

There were at least 3 other cars that I saw yesterday hit the wall head on (similar to a crash that killed Dale Earnhardt) and they walked away. Why? Technology like the Hans Device and softer barrier walls, which a few years ago didn’t exist, kept those drivers not only alive but unhurt.

I would put my money on the development of a safer catch fence in the near future…possibly one that does not allow debris through, as a result of this accident.

Like racing or not, the finish to this race was thrilling, terrifying and amazing all in the span of about 10 seconds.

You will definitely see me at the track…and I just looked…my will is up to date!