Many people want the past Sprint Cup champion to speak out on the tragic accident, but I suspect Stewart’s lawyers have advised him not to until the investigation is complete. That does not imply anything criminal, just lawyers being cautious. Then he has to speak out to put this behind him. That and he must also reach out to the Ward family. Few pundits would argue that any settlement reached would not include a substantial amount of money, but I feel something must be done as well to remember Ward-perhaps funding an annual memorial race.
Most of you have probably never attended a sprint car race and don’t know how these vehicles work. Below is a link in which Erin Evernham explains how sprint cars work, and some of her comments most definitely explain why what happened will very likely be explained as a tragic racing accident. Thanks to my son Matt for sending me the link.
Despite omnipotent Brad Keselowski (hey, just ask him, he’ll tell you he knows everything) suggesting such a rule cannot be enforced in NASCAR, NASCAR’s Robin Pemberton announced the following this morning:
“During an event if a race car is involved in an on-track incident, and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface, and unable to continue, to make forward progress," Pemberton said, reading from the new rule. "Unless extenuating circumstances or conditions exist with the race car, example on fire, smoke in the cockpit, etc, the driver should take the following steps: shut off all electrical power and if the driver is uninjured, lower the window net. Do not loosen, disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR official. After being directed to exit the race car, the driver should proceed to the ambulance or other vehicle or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR official."
"At no time should a driver or crew member or members approach any portion of the racing surface or apron. At no time should a driver, crew member or members approach another moving vehicle. All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterward should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in [NASCAR rule] 10.4: yellow flag rules."
Pemberton did not mention what the penalty would be for breaking the rule. With many drivers earning millions of dollars each year, a fine might not have as much effect as penalizing points.
The Wood Brothers have named Ryan Blaney to replace Trevor Bayne as their driver for the 2015 season. Bayne will be moving to a full-time ride at Roush Fenway Racing. The list of past drivers of the red and white #21 reads like someone’s stock car who’s who-Glen Wood, Curtis Turner, Junior Johnson, Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Neil Bonnett, Buddy Baker, and Bill Elliott.
Greg Biffle is the #1 rated driver at Michigan International Speedway, but I don’t expect a Roush Fenway driver to make it into Victory Lane this weekend-actually it would not surprise me to say the same thing every week the rest of the season. That includes Carl Edwards who has the best average finishing position at MIS of active drivers. Last year Joey Logano sat on the pole and won this race. No, I don’t see the Penske driver winning this race either. If I was a betting man, I would bet on Matt Kenseth taking the checkered flags on Sunday.
Kenseth is ranked just behind Biffle among active drivers at MIS. Kenseth needs a win to ensure he has a sport in The Chase. Kenseth is simply too good of a driver to not win a race this season. It has now been almost eleven months since Kenseth won at Chicago and New Hampshire to start the 2013 Chase. Kenseth did win a non-points Budweiser Dual at Daytona in February, but his best finishes this season were back to back thirds at Charlotte and Dover.
Others I see having high finishes include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, and Jeff Gordon. Earnhardt is the current Sprint Cup point leader and is having a great season. Johnson won the first MIS race this summer. Gordon had the dominant car at Watkins Glen before electrical problems left him four laps down. The 24 has been strong all season and I am sure the team wants to come back strong from last week’s disappointment.
Thanks for stopping by.