#NASCAR release on its new on-track incident procedures

In its continued efforts to evolve the safety of its sport, NASCAR announced Friday that it will add a rule that addresses on-track incidents as part of its race procedures. The rule, listed as Section 9-16, will be an addendum to the NASCAR rule book and will apply to all of its racing series, effective immediately.
 
Section 9-16 On-Track Incident Procedure
 
During an Event, if a race car is involved in an on-track incident and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the race car (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.) the driver should take the following steps:
·         Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
·         Do not loosen, disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
·         After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
·         At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
·         At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle
 
All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterwards should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in Section 10-4 (Yellow Flag), use extreme care as they approach an incident scene, and follow any directions given by safety personnel or NASCAR/Track Officials. Cars in line behind the safety car should not weave or otherwise stray from the line in the vicinity of the incident.
 
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development, says the rule is “part of the evolution of NASCAR’s rules and regulations.”
 
“Throughout the history of our sport, NASCAR has reviewed and analyzed situations and occurrences that take place not just in NASCAR racing but also throughout all motorsports and other sports,” said Pemberton. “When we believe we can do something to make our sport safer and better for the competitors and others involved in the competition environment, we react quickly. Safety always has been priority number one at NASCAR.”
 
As with other behavioral infractions, NASCAR will handle each instance separately when assessing potential penalties.
 
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#NASCAR adds rule on driver confrontations in wake of Kevin Ward’s death.

NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development Robin Pemberton issued a bulletin to all its teams this morning.

It reads:

During an event, if a race car is involved in an on-track incident, and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface, and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating circumstances and conditions exist with the race car, example, on fire or smoke in the cockpit, etc., the driver should take the following steps:

  • Shut off electrical power, and if the drivers is uninjured, lower the window net.
  • Do not loosen, disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR official.
  • After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed either to the ambulance or other vehicle or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or NASCAR official.
  • At no time should a driver, crew member or members approach any portion of the racing surface or apron.
  • At no time should a driver, crew member or members approach another moving vehicle.
  • All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterwards should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in section 10-4, yellow flag rules.
  • Use extreme care as they approach an incident scene and follow any direction given by safety personnel or NASCAR officials.
  • Cars in line behind a safety car should not weave or otherwise stray from the line in the vicinity of an accident.

The rule change comes days after Kevin Ward Jr. died after confronting NASCAR driver Tony Stewart during a sprint car race in New York State.

Ward, 20, approached Stewart’s car under yellow flag just after the pair collided on track. He was struck and killed in the incident.

News: @tagliani will race @NASCAR_Trucks for @keselowski at @CTMPOfficial

Good news for Canadian racing fans as Brad Keselowski Racing announced Lachenaie, Que.’s, Alex Tagliani as one of its drivers for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

“It’s an honor to get a call to drive for Brad’s team this year, especially after sharing the No. 22 Team Penske Nationwide car with him for two races,” Tagliani said.

“It will be my first time competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, but Mosport is a great track to drive and I am hoping to be able to help the team with a strong result.”

Before he gets to Bowmanville, Tagliani will be racing the NO. 22 for Penske in Saturday’s Nationwide tilt at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

OK, WTF is going on at @Autodromo_Monza?

It was bad enough to learn late last week that the runoff at the famed Parabolica had been paved, thus ruining another of Formula One’s most famous and challenging corners.

Where the high-speed right hand corner once punished those who dared overstep, there now will be an easy escape for those who don’t respect it’s power. The Parabolica joins Suzuka’s 130R and Spa’s Eau Rouge as once fierce corners that have been neutered.

If that weren’t enough, NBC Sport’s Will Buxton tweeted today that the old banking at Monza is being concreted, apparently due to structural issues.

Read that again, not being restored, but covered in concrete.

Let’s hope that something was lost in translation here and the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza actually has a plan in place to restore the banking that had regrettably fallen into a terrible state of disrepair.

It doesn’t ever have to be used again, but it should be restored to its original glory as a tribute to all the legendary names who raced on its surface.

Luckily, the banking escaped demolition about 35 years ago, but if this is its fate, then saving it only to have it covered in concrete is just as sad an end to an invaluable part of racing history.

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.

I’m baaaaack…

Okay,  I am going to try this personal blog thing again.

I will post columns from the Globe and some things from other motorsport writers that I find of interest. I may actually do a bit of writing about things as they happen too. 

Right now, let’s just see how things go…