On-track gesturing a thing of the past? Local tracks take action
The impact from Kevin Ward's death is already causing for policy changes at some race tracks.
As we all know by now, Kevin Ward Jr. was killed when Tony Stewart struck him as he tried to show the three-time NASCAR champion his displeasure with an incident that had just taken place.
Had he not walked into oncoming traffic, something we've seen thousands of times before, this tragedy would have been averted. Again, we see drivers pointing fingers, throwing helmets, and waving their hands after incidents all the time. Heck, we saw it as recently as the Nationwide race on Saturday with J.J. Yeley and Trevor Bayne.
However, this widely accepted and popular form of showing anger with another driver may be coming to an end soon. It's hard to believe, I know, but tragedy has an uncanny way of turning the world upside down. (See the events that followed Dale Earnhardt's death in 2001)
New York tracks are already taking action after the tragedy at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. Brewerton Speedway has announced new polices, stating, "Drivers that exit a car without permission, for whatever reason, are subject to fine and/or suspension at the discretion of track management."
The release also said that "If a driver, for whatever reason, exits a car on the track during a caution period, the race will automatically be placed under a red flag and all cars will come to a complete stop."
Brewerton is a well-known dirt track in upstate NY and is a place stars such as Tony Stewart have visited before. Fulton Speedway (NY), Kingsport Speedway (TN), and Tri-City speedway (IL) are upending their policies about drivers on the track as well.
What we may see here is a widespread change in policy that may even reach the highest levels of NASCAR racing. Despite the incident being an unprecedented freak accident, tracks will still take action to protect their drivers and themselves.
Should this rehashing of policies reaches NASCAR remains to be seen, but it very well could and would completely change one aspect of the sport that has been around since auto racing began.