Originally written on As the World Turns (Left)  |  Last updated 10/19/14
“Ten years ago I wouldn’t be standing here.” That was Martin Truex Jr. after his wreck in April 2011 at Martinsville. After that quote, why in the world would NASCAR consider sanctioning a race where SAFER barriers were not in place? Well, per a report by Racin’ Today, the Camping World Truck Series is. Could someone please tell me what the upside is in this? So, in your No. 3 series, which creates very little national attention when everything goes right, you’re going to create a situation which might be the No. 1 story in the country when something goes wrong? Sunday in the Chase race at Chicagoland, Jeff Gordon suffered a stuck throttle, the same thing that Truex suffered at Martinsville. Said struck throttle was the same thing that killed Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin Jr. at New Hampshire within a two-month span in 2000, a year before Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s death at Daytona. As dangerous as superspeedways like Daytona are, New Hampshire is a one-mile short track. According to the Racin’ Today report, the Truck series is waiting for the results of a safety report to determine whether certain short tracks are feasible for NASCAR action minus the SAFER barrier. I think we already have enough data. Many of NASCAR’s deaths have taken place at shorter tracks, so how can any report — even one by the the University of Nebraska, which helped develop the SAFER barrier and is conducting the current study for NASCAR — conclude that a track minus current safety features is safe? Sure, we still have the COT and the HANS device that could protect a driver. But to go backwards on workplace safety — after NASCAR has declared safety a moving target and claimed to be looking ahead — would be akin to repealing child labor laws and the minimum wage. NASCAR takes a lot of pride in not having a death in its top series since Earnhardt. Why put that on the line?    

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