IRL: TMS Hopes to See Helmets on Pit Crews for Texas

SPEEDWAY HOPES TO SEE HELMETS ON PIT CREWS FOR TEXAS FORT WORTH-DALLAS (June 7, 1999) -- Texas Motor Speedway general manager Eddie Gossage Monday urged Pep Boys Indy Racing League pit crews to wear helmets during Saturday night's Longhorn 500...

SPEEDWAY HOPES TO SEE HELMETS ON PIT CREWS FOR TEXAS

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (June 7, 1999) -- Texas Motor Speedway general manager Eddie Gossage Monday urged Pep Boys Indy Racing League pit crews to wear helmets during Saturday night's Longhorn 500 Presented by MCI WorldCom. "In light of recent accidents involving pit crew members of open wheel teams, we would like to see crew members wear helmets," said Gossage. There have been three incidents in the last three weeks involving pit crew members. On May 30 during a CART race at St. Louis, crew member Dave Stephens was run over by a car exiting the pits. Stephens, who sustained a concussion, was wearing a helmet. Steve Fried, crew chief for of Robby McGehee's IRL team was critically injured in the pits after a car struck him, knocking him into the air and landing on his head at the Indianapolis 500 on May 31. Just this past weekend, Ty Manseau, vent man for Michael Andretti was run over by a car while in the pits at the CART event at Milwaukee. Manseau was wearing a helmet and escaped with only minor injuries.

McGehee's team has already announced all team members will now wear helmets in the pits, starting Saturday night with the Longhorn 500 Presented by MCI WorldCom.

"As a promoter of racing events, we want this sport to be a safe as possible for everyone involved," said Gossage. "To better ensure the safety of our spectators, we have raised the height of our catch fence. The IRL has added restraints to the wheels and suspension of the cars and have lowered the rpm 's of the engines to slow the cars down. We're all moving in the right direction and we would like to see teams take another proactive measure to try and prevent injuries to the members of the pit crews as well."

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Series IndyCar