Hamiln gives #NASCAR opportunity to test its new “Kevin Ward Jr.” safety rule

Tuesday is normally the day that NASCAR hands out fines for rule violations that occurred on the previous race weekend.
 
This is particularly interesting this week after Denny Hamiln walked to the edge of the track at the Bristol Motor Speedway and threw his HANS device at the car of Kevin Harvick to show his displeasure following a wreck on Lap 161 of Saturday’s Irwin Tools Sprint Cup race.
 
Now, it would be reasonable to assume that the safety crew did not approve Hamlin tossing his HANS device at another car, so that should mean NASCAR should be handing out some sort of penalty tomorrow in the first test of its new rule instituted in the wake of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr.’s death in an Aug. 9 race.
 
The newly adopted rule instructs drivers to stay in their car until the safety crew arrives and then proceed to an emergency vehicle or as otherwise directed by the safety crew.
 
The on-track incident happened Harvick nudged leader Hamlin as the pair got to the front straight, with the contact sending the No. 11 car into the inside wall before it went back up the track and hit innocent bystander Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Turn 1.
 
After getting out of his car, Hamlin then waited for Harvick to come back around before walking to the edge of the track and throwing his HANS device at the No. 4.
 
Let’s hope NASCAR makes the right decision here and sends a message to all drivers that this kind of behaviour is dangerous and will not be tolerated.
 
As NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development, Robin Pemberton, said when he announced the rule two weeks ago at the Michigan International Speedway, it’s “safety first” now. 
 
“Through time you have to recognize, when you get a reminder or tap on the shoulder, something that may need to be addressed. This is one of those times where we look outside our sport and we look at other things, and we feel like it was time to address this.”
 
 
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