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Stewart’s Injury Should Lead To Safety Improvements

stewart32013a.jpg [1]When a Sprint Cup Series driver injures himself in anything other than a Cup race, like Tony Stewart did [2], it starts the debate over whether or not owners and sponsors should restrict drivers’ activities to protect their investment. It’s a fair point.

Drivers are what drive NASCAR, both literally and figuratively. Johnson, Earnhardt, Keselowski, Hamlin… these are the guys among others who are pushing merchandise – funding their teams and the sport. The majority of fans don’t tune into a NASCAR event to see a car or team win; they want to see their driver win. So, it is only natural for sponsors and team owners to want to protect that money-maker.

But, I think that’s really the wrong conversation to have right now.

Racers like Stewart are never going to stop competing in sprint car or modified events. It’s a way of life for these guys. So, attempting to restrict their ability to compete isn’t really worth discussing, to me.

Instead, I think the more beneficial conversation to have is about safety at these smaller events and venues.I’m hoping things like Jason Leffler’s tragic death [3] and Tony Stewart’s injury [2] lead to more safety innovations in these smaller series that will benefit all drivers.

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