New rule was precipitated following the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy last Saturday.
In its continued efforts to evolve the safety of its sport, NASCAR announced Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway a new procedure for on-track incidents, effective immediately.
The rule, listed as Section 9-16, will be an addendum to the NASCAR rule book and will apply to all of its racing series.
This is one of those times where we look outside our sport and we look at other things and we feel like it was time to address this.
The procedure states that during an event, if a racecar is involved in an on-track incident and / or is stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the racecar (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.), the driver should take the following steps:
- Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
- Do not loosen, disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
- After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
- At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
- At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle
“We’re formalizing rules that have been there,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. “It’s reminders that take place during driver meetings with drivers about on-track incidents. We’re just formalizing this and it’s something that we worked on this week.”
Pemberton added the new rule was precipitated following the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy last Saturday night at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.
“Through time you have to recognize when you get a reminder or tap on the shoulder, something that may need to be addressed,” he said. “This is one of those times where we look outside our sport and we look at other things and we feel like it was time to address this.”
As with other behavioral infractions, NASCAR will handle each instance separately when assessing potential penalties.
Chris Knight - NASCAR Wire Service