Last night all over the country and the world for that matter, race car drivers pulled on helmets, donned fire suits and strapped in race cars to go race. Each of them understood what they were getting into, the dangers, the risk, and the possibility that something bad could happen. They know this going in, they understand. When you look at the number of laps that are raced each week, and you look at the injuries that happen each week, in general racing is a very safe sport. Yeah they have some injuries and even an occasional fatality. But its racing.
With the loss of Dan Weldon last week, and Marco Simoncelli the 24 year old MotoGP rider in the Malaysian GP today, there will be lots of people jumping on the bandwagon that racing is unsafe. Just remember that when you read these comments from these people, that most of them know nothing about racing and all of the safety precautions that are taken, they only operate on knee jerk type reactions.
As a driver, car owner, crew chief, and fan I may have a unique perspective on racing and the safety of it, but I know that the place I feel the most safe is in a race car.
Last Saturday night at North Georgia Speedway the ambulance rolled onto the track twice for two different crashes, one was Randy Walston who’s transmission come flying out of his car and one was Timmy Millwood getting turned around and crashing. Both drivers are OK today but it could have been much worse, just like so many other sports injuries are an accepted danger.
Now could it be safer? Yeah I know there are some things that could be changed, especially at local levels, but all in all its still a very safe sport, when you get drivers like Jimmie Johnson making comments like he made this past week that “ Indy Cars shouldn’t race on ovals”, he was quickly called out by the legendary A.J. Foyt who said Jimmie was an Idiot. A.J. Said that Jimmie needed to shut his mouth and worry about his own racing and keep his nose out of Indy cars which he knows nothing about. ( Foyt will be on Speed Channels “Wind Tunnel “ with Dave Dispain tonight.)
Now as the NASCAR boys go racing at Talladega today keep in mind, that no one is making these guys get in the car, they do it to put on a show for you the fans. And they know when they strap on the helmets today the dangers they face. So watch, and enjoy, but don’t bash the racing world, for doing what they love to do.
Stay tuned for some of my ideas for safety improvements coming this week. And if you have any you would like to see put in place send them too me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see if we can make things happen.