O'Reilly Pit Blog

What's the Wait?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I find it amazing that, in 2013, we have tracks that still have walls that don’t have SAFER barriers.  A couple of years ago, Jeff Gordon had a monstrous hit on the backstretch at Las Vegas…on the infield side of the track.  At the time, it was said that no one ever hit there before.

Well, now somebody had.  And we shouldn’t have to see a driver seriously injured before we identify potential trouble spots.  After that Gordon wreck, “no one has ever hit there before” ceased being an excuse.

But, that’s exactly what they’re telling us at California.  A spokesman for the track was quick to point the finger of blame at everyone BUT the track.  He said that no one had ever hit there before…and, “All SAFER barrier recommendations are based on past history.”  That’s the kind of thinking that forced hair dryer manufacturers to put warning labels on their  product…”do not use in a bathtub”.

My favorite from the track, though, was that they’ll do whatever NASCAR tells them to do.

Really!!!  No superspeedway should be waiting for NASCAR to tell them anything about how to improve driver safety…especially when it comes to where they should be putting up SAFER barriers.  We’ve lobbied long and hard to get the leaders of this sport to be pro-active rather than re-active.  Obviously, there are some holdouts.