NASCAR doing best to insure driver safety

Friday, August 24, 2001 at 1:00am

Like most NASCAR fans, I was hoping that recent investigations would show me the specific cause of Dale Earnhardt's death. But they didn't. And in reality it was a very thorough report that cost over a million dollars and told us there were about four causes of death. So all in all, I think NASCAR did a very good job in their investigation and in their presentation.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the report was that the seat belt did in fact, break. But as we discovered, all the blame can't go to the manufacturer. Dale himself was responsible for improper installation of the belt. Some people are upset because NASCAR did not mandate the head restraints, which may or may not have saved his life. I don't think it's necessary to order the use of the restraint -- the drivers themselves are taking care of that. Before Earnhardt's death, you couldn't have gotten five NASCAR drivers to wear the head restraint. In last weeks race in Michigan, 41 of the 43 drivers who started the race wore the protective apparatus, including Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Whether you agree or disagree, the fact of the matter is that part of the excitement of auto racing is the danger aspect.

The only way racing can be safe is that if all the drivers drive 1973 Chevrolet Impalas and do 55 MPH. That would draw a crowd of about 23 people, as we all know. Let's face it -- driving 200 MPH within 6 inches of a concrete wall is just not natural. But as they say,

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