In response to the Aug. 9 fatal incident between Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr. that led to Ward’s death in a sprint car race on Aug. 9 at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park, NASCAR is instituting an on-track incident procedure that the sanctioning body announced on Friday morning.
“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,” NASCAR Vice President of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton said. “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.”
The new rule basically stipulates that drivers are not to get out of wrecked or stalled race cars until instructed to do so by safety personnel, unless there is fire or smoke in the cockpit of the race car.
Drivers are to shut off electrical power inside the car and, if uninjured, lower the window net. Safety equipment, like helmets and safety belts, are not to be loosened or disconnected until NASCAR officials or safety personnel give their okay.
Also, no drivers or crew members will be allowed to approach the racing surface or apron of the race track. Also, they will not be allowed to approach another moving vehicle.
During caution, other cars should not weave or stray from the line behind the pace car in the vicinity of the incident that brought out the caution.
The new rule will be listed at second 9-16, “On-Track Incident Procedure” in the NASCAR rule book.