NASCAR views safety systems the way a child views green vegetables. Except way more stupid, since the child is not hurtling towards a wall at over 100 miles an hour with only asparagus to protect them.
Just The Facts
- NASCAR consists of driving in a small circle several hundred times, which people somehow screw up. Possibly through boredom.
- NASCAR drivers are paid up to $200 every time they turn left, and scraped onto a stretcher every time they don't.
- Systems built to keep NASCAR drivers (and fans) alive are a worse attack on evolution than Intelligent Design.
Adoption of Safety Systems
NASCAR adopts a "martyr" approach to safety: At least one famous person has to die to get each even the most elementary safety measure adopted.
Device: SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) barrier walls.
Martyr: Dale Earnhardt
Death: Slammed into extremely un-SAFER walls.
Comment: First proposed by a NASCAR engineer 30 years before Earnhardt's death, indicating there may be some slight room for improvement in NASCAR's attitude toward safety.
Device: Fire retardant suits.
Martyr: Edward "Fireball" Roberts
Death: Burned to death.
Comment: Yes, he had that nickname before the accident. Yes, that does mean that God is both a bastard and watches NASCAR, so good luck with heaven, y'all!
Device: Engine-stopping kill switch
Martyr: Adam Petty
Death: Killed by engine not stopping
Comment: We really want to make the world's worst-tasting pun here, but it's more fun if you think of your own.
Device: HANS (Head And Neck Safety) Brace
Martyr: Tony Roper, Kenny Irwin, Neil Bonnett, John Nemechek, Blaise Alexander, J.D. McDuffie, Clifford Allison, contributed to Adam Petty, Dale Earnhardt
Death: Trauma to head and neck caused by slamming a goddamn car into a wall.
Comment: Finally adopted 20 years after its invention because of nine deaths. Six of them within two years. There are rogue bands of mercenary desperadoes with nothing to lose who have lower casualty rates.