Interstate Racing Association president has spoken out about what his series plans on doing in the wake of the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy this past weekend.
The Interstate Racing Association, (IRA) is a sprint car racing series in Wisconsin that will be making sweeping changes after the tragic accident at a New York short track this weekend.
Kevin Ward Jr., a 20-year-old sprint car driver lost his life after making contact with Tony Stewart’s sprint car at an event at Canandaigua Motorsports Park Saturday night. Ward had exited his car and was heading down the track to confront Stewart, when he was hit by the NASCAR Champions car.
You get out of the car and it’s not on fire...You're going to get a night off.
Steve Sinclair, IRA President
Long time IRA President Steve Sinclair told the Milawaukee Journal Sentinel that the overwhelming thought after seeing the video is that you do not get out of your car, and especially don’t run down the track.
As with most tragedy’s involved in sport, many are looking to prevent this type of tragedy from happening again. Sinclair said he is making some changes ahead of the series first race since last Saturday night’s incident.
“We’re definitely going to address it at the drivers’ meeting,” Sinclair said in an interview with the Wisconsin paper.
“Probable two to thee times a year a guy will get out. He doesn’t usually come downt he track…he might just stand there, try to get the guy’s attention, flip him off or something.”
The series next race will be held at Wilmot Raceway in Wisconsin, and Sinclair added that it’s not just driver safety this incident has brought to the forefront.
“We’re going to tell them, you get out of the car and it’s not on fire and you start walking on the racetrack to another competitor, you’re going to get a night off,” he said.
“I learned something too. After seeing what getting caugh up in a right rear car do to you, I will no longer be giving signals on the racetrack. I’m doing it all by radio now. I’m not touching the racetrack. My officials will be instructed not to go onto the racetrack unless it’s a safety issue, and those guys are in orange fire suits.”