March 28th, 2015
With technology changing every year to keep drivers safe in a race car, it would seem now, more than ever, drivers should feel safe each time they buckle into their cars. That’s not the case if you ask former Sprint Cup Series champion and current point leader Matt Kenseth. While talking to the media on Friday at the Pocono Raceway, Kenseth seemed torn on the issue of safety. The cars are safer, but they are going at some of the highest speeds we’ve seen, that’s where the rift is in Kenseth’s thinking.
Do you think NASCAR is safer than the NFL? “I don’t know. I mean, I just don’t know. Obviously it’s hard to tear your ACL driving a race car, stuff like that when you look at typical, normal football injuries, certainly it’s safer. You don’t tear a lot of rotator cuffs shifting at Pocono and tear a lot of ACL’s running around Martinsville. Obviously from that aspect, it’s safer.”
Do you feel safer in a race car than you did at the beginning of your career? “That’s hard to say. Certainly they’ve come a long ways with safety for the cars, race tracks, pit crew and everybody — fans actually — everything. Certainly they’ve worked on a lot, NASCAR has spent a lot of their own money to do that, which we all really appreciates. Seats, all that stuff is so much safer than it used to be. It’s still always there. I think it’s been quite a while, but before that they went a long time without people getting seriously hurt and then had a rash of them. I think you always keep working on it and don’t take it for granted. Right now they have us going faster than we’ve ever went before – well over 200 at a lot of tracks we used to not get close to that fast before. The cars are really, really fast. You know that anything can happen at any time, but I feel like they’ve done a good job of making everything a lot safer, for sure.”