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NASCAR updates procedures after tragedy
BROOKLYN, Mich. — NASCAR announced early today that it has formalized its on-track incident procedure for competition.
The formalization of Section 9-16 of NASCAR's rules (On-Track Incident Procedure), announced at Michigan International Speedway, comes in the wake of an on-track accident involving Tony Stewart, which resulted in the death of Kevin Ward, Jr., 20, an amateur driver.
NASCAR unveiled five points in Section 9-16:
• Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
• Do not loosen, disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
• After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
• At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
• At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition and racing development, acknowledged the timing of the announcement, in relation to Ward's death.
"Through time you have to recognize when you get a reminder or tap on the shoulder, something that may need to be addressed," Pemberton said. "This is one of those times where we look outside our sport and we look at other things, and we feel like it was time to address this."