Originally posted Feb. 24, 2013 on IndySportsLegends.com
NASCAR was extremely fortunate people were injured, not killed, when Kyle Larson’s car went airborne at the end of Saturday’s Nationwide Series race in Daytona, Fla. CBSNews.com photo.
What a scary end of the Nationwide series race in Daytona on Saturday…and what a sobering way for the 2013 Sprint Cup series to begin.
Just a few thoughts on where things stand in racing after watching the crash (repeatedly) after the fact:
1. Thank goodness the catch fence did its job. If it hadn’t, we’re talking about a lot of deaths instead of nearly 30 people injured.
2. Having said that, the catch fence needs to be higher and stronger. Kyle Larson’s car was still climbing when it hit the fence. Imagine how high it could have gotten if it was in the center of the track and had more of a flying start.
3. NASCAR has a decision on its hands that it doesn’t want to make. Actually, two. First, it has to decide whether to keep fans away from trackside. It would be safer (nothing in racing is truly safe, even with all the improvements over the years), but it definitely would not be popular among NASCAR fans. Second, it has to decide whether to recommend the end of the blocking tactic which directly resulted in the initial crash. Again, making the sport safer without taking out all the associated dangers…and, perhaps, disillusioning drivers if that does indeed come down.
4. What does this say about how the Gen6 car performs in traffic? It will be very interesting to see how that is spun in the coming days.
Not the way NASCAR wanted to go into its biggest race of the year.