Was NASCAR’s Wild West justice a factor in driver’s death?

This was the headline on my latest column in Globe Drive, the automotive section of the Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/news/motorsports/wild-west-justice-to-blame-for-nascar-drivers-death/article19986188/?page=all

The death of a sprint car driver in a race in upstate New York has put the spotlight on the confrontational attitude that the the sport cultivates, especially in stock car racing. NASCAR not only loves this kind of thing, it’s become part of the mythology.

Maybe it’s time that NASCAR and other series in the U.S. stop allowing drivers to confront rivals on a “hot” racetrack. It’s dangerous and should attract huge fines and/or suspensions.

It seems the result of Kevin Ward Jr’s death may just be new rules that curb this sort of behaviour.

USA Today’s Nate Ryan is reporting that at least two tracks have already changed their rules to keep drivers in their cars after a crash. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2014/08/11/racing-safety-drivers-on-track-nascar-tony-stewart-kevin-ward-jr/13928315/

That’s good news for the sport. Maybe they can call it the Kevin Ward rule.


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