Racing, although looks monotonous as cars continuously glide down the track for hours on end, is actually quite intense once you enter the car itself. After a wreck, it common occurrence to see infuriated drivers get out of their cars in a fit of rage – the most recent and notorious of which being that of Kevin Ward Jr.
Because of the incident that resulted in his death at the hands of legend Tony Stewart, NASCAR has officially banned drivers from getting out of their cars and approaching either the track or moving cars after an incident.
Almost every single NASCAR driver has been guilty of it – tempers get ignited, the next thing, someone’s out on the track very flamboyantly expressing their outrage. Even the likes of the extremely respected Jimmie Johnson is guilty of such as he explained, “I guess the one experience that comes to mind for me in Cup was maybe my rookie year at Bristol. Robby Gordon wrecked me on a restart, and I got out and shot him the bird.”
As the formerly accepted act of hot-headedness that has been tolerated for so long has finally resulted in the death of someone – a reality in which everyone hoped would never happen, but knew of the chances that it may – NASCAR recently announced their changes.
(See also: New Video Surfaces Of Mike Brown’s Death)
According to NASCAR’s vice president, Robin Pemberton, “Through time you have to recognize when you get a reminder or tap on the shoulder, something that may need to be addressed. This 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.”
Despite Johnson finding himself to be a bit hypocritical on the matter, he conveys that he does agree with the change. “I’m sure I picked up a few fans and lost a few fans,” he noted. “Now, as a parent, if my child’s hero was out there shooting the bird to another ballplayer, baseball player or football player or whatever it was, I’d probably try to steer my kids away from that. So, it depends. I don’t think that entertainment value should come with any safety implications. Safety is the No. 1 priority for drivers, crew members, and the officials that are out there on the race track. And if it turns a few fans off, then in my opinion, they’re a fan for the wrong reason.”
Although it’s unclear at this point how NASCAR officials will disciple those found to be in violation of the new statute, the new rule immediately went into effect.
Let us know what you think – was this a change that should have been implemented a long time ago?