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Driver Limitations?



Kasey Kahne’s vacation on NASCAR’s off-week has raised question on whether NASCAR Owners should place limits on what drivers can do on the off weekends during the season. Now you may be asking why this is being questioned. Well Kasey Kahne took the weekend to do something he’s loved doing for years; racing sprint cars.

Kasey Kahne made the trip to Williams Grove Speedway in his self-owned sprint car. Now Kahne has made the trip to the “Grove” many times and raced his way to victory lane but not this past weekend. He didn’t finish the race … instead he finished outside the track after getting airborne, soaring over the track wall, and flipping numerous times before coming to a halt.

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The crash was scary and could have been disastrous for Kahne, but the driver was able to walk away uninjured. Now there have been other drivers who have not been so fortunate; take Denny Hamlin and Dale Jr., for example, have both injured themselves in recent off-week activities.

Now, should the owners and teams place limits on what drivers can do in the off-weekends?

My take is this: After Kahne’s accident this past weekend I have a better understanding of the knee-jerking reaction for  the owners to want to place limitations on their drivers as in the eyes of the owners their drivers are investments.  But how far is too far? The NASCAR season is the longest of all professional sports. Drivers have sponsor requirements, meetings, and other obligations mid-week, and then they are on the road and at the track from Thursday to Monday. There is no off time except for three weekends a year, when drivers and their teams step away from the day-to-day grind.

Kahne’s accident was scary, no question, and he could have been seriously injured. But there is no way Red Bull Racing can tell Kahne to not race for his own race team because he might get hurt. He could get just as injured racing in the Nationwide or Truck Series, but that doesn’t seem to bother owners. If there are more limits on drivers fans can say goodbye to the Prelude at Eldora.