Sunday, October 16, 2011

IndyCar makes my NASCAR point

My post below that chastised NASCAR for potentially putting drivers at risk for ratings is being proved out live at this moment in Las Vegas.

IndyCar is holding its season ending race, where Dario Francitti and Will Power were supposed to slug it out for the championship. Race sponsors put in a $5million winner's pot that the race winner would split with a fan. That incentive burgeoned the field to 34 drivers instead of the usual 20+ the series has had all year. Including a number of first time, inexperienced drivers trying to cash in on the big bonus.

At lap 12, a horrific crash occurred. 15 cars were totalled as Dan Wheldon and others were sent literally flying and bursting into flames. Wheldon was flown by helicopter to the medical center, and at this moment, no word is forthcoming on his condition. But I wonder when they keep showing images of Danica Patrick nearly in tears and others praying, whether his condition is more serious than we could imagine.

Interviews with drivers both in and out of the crash confirmed pretty much what I was warning about with NASCAR's fooling around with the rules -- the cars racing in a tight pack, no one can pull away, and drivers acting foolishly because of incentives put on them by the league and series.

Of the announcers, only Eddie Cheever has shown the courage to point out that the league itself is at fault for putting the drivers in this situation.

Here's hoping Dan is okay and no one else is injured in today's race if they choose to finish it. But I hope the message resonates not only in IndyCar, but with NASCAR as well -- they're putting these driver's lives at risk foolishly.

Dan Wheldon is dead. They just announced the race has been stopped and the remaining drivers will run a five lap salute to Dan' memory. Fuck.
My condolences to his family.

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