NASCAR Cup: concussion protocol enhanced
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (right) with a member of his race team in the garage at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 18, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).
By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR announced on Friday updates to its concussion protocol, and as a result, a consistent screening tool and additional neurological support will be available at the track every race weekend.
“NASCAR has worked very closely with the industry to ensure our concussion protocol reflects emerging best practices in this rapidly developing area of sports medicine,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy said. “We will continue to utilize relationships we’ve had for years with leaders in the neurological research field who helped to shape these updates.”
Under the new protocol, any driver whose car sustains significant enough damage to require a trip to the garage or behind the pit wall for repairs will be required to visit the track’s infield care center for evaluation and will undergo a head-injury screening, using a SCAT-3 diagnostic tool. On-site neurological consultative support will be available at select races.
NASCAR’s 14-time Most Popular Driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., returns to action in 2017 after missing the second half of the 2016 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season because of a concussion. It was the second time Earnhardt missed races as the result of a concussion.