With Speedweeks behind us and NASCAR out on its initial western tour of the US, I hope that the sanctioning body does some deep soul searching in the wake of Ryan Newman’s death-defying wreck at the end of the Daytona 500. You see, NASCAR has been playing Russian Roulette with its future for a long, long time, and soon the gun is going to go off when they are looking right down the barrel.
In 1988 Richard Petty got airborne and spins down the catch fence at the start-finish line showering the fans with debris.
In April 2009 Carl Edwards got airborne and into the catch fence at Talladega coming to the stripe ripping up the fence and showering the fans with debris causing one fan to be airlifted to the hospital.
In July 2015 Austin Dillon not only gets airborne into the catch fence at the start-finish line at Daytona, but he also rips the catch fence anchor completely out of the concrete leaving a huge open gap that thankfully no other wrecking car came through.
Monday Ryan Newman went for an airborne ride at the same spot at Daytona, but thankfully not into the catch fence. It’s only a matter of time before a 200 MPH stockcar gets over or through the catch fence and into the stands at Daytona or Talladega. When that happens, that’s all she wrote for NASCAR.
I think NASCAR needs to pause and really think this problem through because the gun will go off sooner or later if this is left unchecked. Folks call me the Swami because I can seem to predict stock car racing’s future at times, but I do not want to be right about this.