Limited visibility-front and side, a track not well lit, a driver wearing a black fire suit and helmet, are all possible explanations for the tragedy. I realize my writing the past several days has been seeking logic where there is none, but this explanation comes close to explaining it really was racing accident, a terrible, terrible accident.
According to National Speed Sport News, two New York tracks have already changed rules as a result of the Canandaigua incident. Brewerton and Fulton Speedways now have a rule that drivers are not to exit a crashed vehicle on the track unless requested to by safety personnel, or if there is a safety issue such as fire. A driver otherwise leaving his vehicle will cause the red flag to be thrown immediately, stopping all cars on the track. That driver will be open to both a fine and suspension for leaving his car. I have talked with a number of people regarding this, and believe that in the coming days many tracks and sanctions will be adding similar rules.
It seems like racing reacts to issues only when something bad happens. The cars driven in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series are safer than when Dale Earnhardt lost his life at Daytona, and drivers are now required to wear safety equipment that once was optional. Hopefully no other family will have to experience what the Ward family is going through.
If another tragedy is to be averted, Watkins Glen International needs to make some changes to fences at the track. Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell were involved in a frightening wreck that could have involved more cars and severe injury at the track. The crash tore up a section of railing and brought out a lengthy red flag. Newman, McDowell, and many other drivers were interviewed about the crash, and everyone said the track needs concrete walls and SAFER barriers. While that is not feasible around the entire course, that spot should definitely see changes made.
The Watkins Glen facility is owned by International Speedway Corporation, the fine folks who also own NASCAR, so lack of funds should not be an issue. Honestly it should not be anyway when driver safety is involved.
Watkins Glen did see some old fashioned bump and run racing between Marcos Ambrose and A.J. Allmendinger during the final laps of Sunday’s race. This is the type of action that fans love to see and that so few NASCAR races seem to provide anymore. Ambrose was gracious in defeat, despite the fact that losing this race is likely to keep him from The Chase. I thought his interview was classy and it should be made mandatory viewing for the Busch brothers and several other NASCAR stars.
Victory Lane with Allmendinger was the feel good moment of the 2014 NASCAR season. Much has been written of Allmendinger’s running afoul of the sanction’s substance abuse policy and his doing what was required to return to the sport. His parents were on hand to see him get his first Sprint Cup win, and the happiness of the family was something to be hold. I was also impressed that Roger Penske and Richard Childress both stopped by to congratulate Allmendinger. To me that speaks loudly of his character.
The Chase Grid currently stands Earnhardt-Keselowski-Johnson-Gordon-Logano-Edwards-Harvick-Kyle Busch-Hamlin-Almirola-Kurt Busch-Allmendinger with wins, and Kenseth-Newman-Larsen-Bowyer qualifying on points. There are four more races before The Chase begins.
Finally, 3M is leaving Roush Fenway Racing’s Greg Biffle to sponsor Jeff Gordon beginning next season and continuing through 2017. In 2015 3M will be the primary sponsor of the 24 car for 11 races. Hopefully that means that Gordon won’t be retiring anytime soon.
Thanks for stopping by.