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Stewart’s Injury Should Lead To Safety Improvements

Posted By Michael J Smith On August 6, 2013 @ 3:51 pm In Cup | 2 Comments

stewart32013a.jpg [2]When a Sprint Cup Series driver injures himself in anything other than a Cup race, like Tony Stewart did [3], 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 [4] and Tony Stewart’s injury [3] lead to more safety innovations in these smaller series that will benefit all drivers.

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[2] Image: http://lead-lap.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/stewart32013a.jpg

[3] like Tony Stewart did: http://lead-lap.com/2013/08/06/stewart-to-miss-watkins-glen-after-breaking-leg/

[4] Jason Leffler’s tragic death: http://lead-lap.com/2013/06/13/jason-leffler-killed-in-sprint-car-crash-in-new-jersey/

[5] Pastrana Breaks Ankle, Foot; N’Wide Debut Postponed: http://lead-lap.com/2011/07/29/pastrana-breaks-ankle-foot-nationwide-debut-in-doubt/

[6] Should Owners Restrict Drivers’ Activities?: http://lead-lap.com/2010/01/25/should-owners-restrict-drivers-recreation-activities/

[7] Hamlin Tears ACL Playing Basketball: http://lead-lap.com/2010/01/25/hamlin-tears-acl-playing-basketball/

[8] : http://lead-lap.com/2013/08/06/stewarts-injury-should-lead-to-more-safety/

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