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More Fire Suits On Pit Road Please

Safety on pit road is always a concern, and always will be. One thing that I have liked in recent years is the fact that crew members who don't go over the wall have started wearing the fire resistant suits. Even the wives of our favourite drivers have started to as well. Delana Harvic was one of the first. To me this makes perfect sense, you just don't know when something is going to happen and a fire incident isn't a pretty thing to endure. The wives and girlfriends of the drivers are often in the pit area scoring for their beaus, and where do they sit? On top of the pit box usually, and that makes them even more exposed to a fire incident as they don't have the pit wall in front of them for protection, as we all know fire and heat from it rises.

I think NASCAR should mandate more use of flame suits for non-crew members, even the pit reporters have been wearing flame suits for a long time while wandering the pits trying to get that interview for the television audience (remember Dr. Jerry Punch from ESPN?). The car owners who are down in the pits all of the time should have to wear one too. Just how flame resistant do you think Jack Rousch's hat is anyway? Not very I would guess. Even the managers in baseball wear their teams uniform.

It just makes sense, do we need a serious incident to bring out the fire suit wearing mandate? Looking at NASCAR's history in such matters someone will have to die or be seriously injured before they change their policies. Instead of being proactive, NASCAR is being reactive as always. Here are a few examples to prove my point: 1) In the mid-90's Bill Elliott's right rear tire changer is killed (and several others injured) on pit road by an out of control Ricky Rudd - result, speed limit on pit road, and while under yellow only lead lap cars can pit, 2) Late 90's and early 2000' s several pit crew members suffer head injuries during several pit road incidents involving crew members being hit by cars on pit road - result, all crew members going over the wall as well as NASCAR officials on pit road must wear helmets, 3) Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin, and Dale Earnhardt die within a year in collisions involving the outside retaining wall - result, better kill switches, the implementation of soft-wall technology, and the requirement of mandatory use of head and neck restraints (HANS device, or the Hutchins device) and indirectly leading to the car of the future to be introduced next year.

NASCAR needs to be more proactive when it comes to the safety of all of the people working on race day behind the scenes and not just the drivers.