NASCAR’s Lax Safety Standards Cause for Leffler’s Accident? (Video)

NASCAR

NASCAR driver Jason Lefffler died in a freak accident attributed to the alleged lax safety rules of lower division competition. Leffler, 37-years-old, lost his life at Bridgeport Speedway during a dirt car race event in New Jersey.

Sprint cars have increased power-to-weight ratios which make for top speeds of 140 miles or more on a given track. These high-powered races are held on short oval, circular dirt or paved tracks. 900 horsepower is natural for such machines that typically have a 410 cubic inch engine displacement.

Leffler had been reduced to racing dirt car events after losing his NASCAR position with his team. Initially signed to Joe Gibbs Racing, he ended his run on the major circuit with Ganassi in a one year season deal.

Justin Wilson, IndyCar driver, tweeted, “Another reminder of how this sport we love can be so cruel.” Lower division sprint racing, as evidenced by Leffler, is a bit more perilous due to the lax safety rules as compared with NASCAR Indianapolis 500 competitions.

Josh Burton, 22-years-old, died as a result of a crash in Indiana at Bloomington Speedway. In addition, two other drivers died in a race at a Nevada dirt track in May. In California two individuals were killed at a dirt track when a car lost control, spinning off the roadway.

Drivers throughout the industry paid homage to Leffler by way of social media. NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer stated, “So sad to hear about Jason Leffler. Was a wheel man and a fun fun person to be around.” IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter tweeted, “Praying for all of Jason Leffler family, especially little guy Charlie.”

It is noted that safety in sprint car racing has improved within recent years, with newly mandated regulations; the use of roll cages to protect drivers. Fuel tank bladders to prevent fuel leakage; use of six to seven-point safety harness seat belts no less than two years old and the move to use alcohol fuel are an example of a few processes designed for increased safety measures in the sprint race industry.

A statement was released by NASCAR extending thoughts, prayers and sympathies to the family of Leffler. “For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed,” it read.

NASCAR’s suspected lax safety measures in lower division competition should be scrutinized in light of Leffler’s accident. It is suggested by industry insiders that more be done to standardize practices. Jason Leffler was a single father and leaves behind a son, Charlie Dean.

By Thomas Barr

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6 Responses to "NASCAR’s Lax Safety Standards Cause for Leffler’s Accident? (Video)"

  1. K Blow   June 13, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Safety in NASCAR has evolved into one of the biggest concerns in the sport of NASCAR. Mainly after the death of Dale Earnhardt, a seven time Winston Cup Series champion, NASCAR has decided to change all of their safety policies, such as the use of the HANS device. Since 2001, NASCAR has also changed the cars for the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series. NASCAR’s safety policy includes the racing fire suit, carbon fiber seating, and roof flaps.

    Reply
  2. Dana Black   June 13, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    NASCAR’s new Sprint Cup Series race car, the Gen-6, will be a big topic again this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

    Reply
  3. j Tingles   June 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Here’s a sampling of what they’re talking about in and around the garages ahead of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono:

    Reply
  4. Ruth Kiehn   June 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Thomas Barr maybe you should do some research before you write stories, instead of looking a fool. As for the comment ” he was reduced to racing dirt.” REALLY!!!! Have you ever raced anything? In my younger years I remember watching “Dr.” Dick Berrigemen( a Nascar announcer) race dirt track up in Scarbough, Maine called Beech-Ridge Speedway. He would test some safety ideas and he would have a great time racing dirt. It is a huge challenge because the track changes all night long making it very challenging to race.

    Do your research before you start insulting people and the sport. It was an accident. I recall a number of Nascar drivers dying in races. You just make a sad thing worse by being ignorant.
    The racers on the dirt circuit or even short asphalt tracks work just as hard if not harder than Nascar(because the money is mostly out of the driver’s own pocket). They also don’t have huge teams to put things back together.
    Go on any dirt track website and you will be able to find the safety regs and specs for the cars to race at the tracks. Also the cars are teched for the safety features .
    Once again, a little research ahead of time goes a long way.

    Reply
  5. Wayne   June 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    You should know sommething about the subject to write a report. Rollbars and fuel tank bladders have been around for 40 years. Alcohol goes back to the begining of the sport. There have been many safety up grades. Seats being the bigest.

    Reply
  6. Richard Dancy   June 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    NASCAR does not sanction sprint car races. NASCAR does not do the Indianapolis 500. Thomas Barr know nothing about the sport, why is he writing this story? Roll cages and fuel bladders have been used for over 30 years, at least.

    Reply

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