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NASCAR drivers tell disturbing stories about ambulance transport

The infamous incident at Richmond (Va.) Raceway during Saturday night’s running of the Federated Auto Parts 400, the final race of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season, that began with an ambulance parked at pit entrance and ended with Matt Kenseth in the garage and out of the race prompted reporters to ask several Cup drivers about safety personnel during the NASCAR playoffs media day on Wednesday. I found drivers’ responses surprising and downright disturbing.

According to multiple drivers, ambulance drivers getting lost while transporting drivers from the scene of on-track incidents to tracks’ infield care centers isn’t at all uncommon. Really?!?

Many drivers who have spoken on the topic are in favor of a series traveling safety crew. Beginning this year, NASCAR has some traveling medical personnel who rotate, going from track to track, but much of the safety personnel, including ambulance drivers, are still contracted locally by the race tracks.

Maybe I’m missing something, but it would seem to me that local safety personnel would have an advantage over series traveling personnel when it comes to getting from point A to point B at a specific racing facility. But maybe I’m wrong. Ambulance drivers seem to be proving me wrong, at least.

Considering that local personnel are just that, local, shouldn’t they know the best route from the track to the care center? After all, they probably only have the one track to concern themselves with, unless they also work local races at other nearby tracks. Yes, they also, probably, have their “regular jobs” of responding to emergencies in their local communities the rest of the week, but when it comes to working races, they only have one or a small handful of tracks to concern themselves with.

Also, since these guys and gals are local, wouldn’t extensive training be convenient for the track and them? I get that there are specific routes these vehicles need to keep in mind during events, getting around fans, etc., but shouldn’t these folks be trained on these routes ahead of time? And then, they should be rehearsed over and over to at least near perfection.

I could understand the confusion if these were traveling safety vehicle drivers who have a large number of facilities with which to keep themselves versed. But these are local folks. If they’re going to work their local NASCAR races, they should undergo extensive training and be made well aware of the available routes for race weekend. That’s definitely not too much to ask.

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Posted by on September 15, 2017. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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