NASCAR has announced a new rule as a result of last week’s accident involving Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr.
The racing association has implemented a rule that will prohibit drivers from exiting their cars after an on-track incident unless “extenuating circumstances exist,” Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president announced today.
In the new rule, if cars are involved in an accident and are unable to make forward progress, drivers must shut off electrical power, lower the window net and wait without removing any personal safety equipment until a safety official or a NASCAR official arrives.
Extenuating circumstances where the drivers can leave their cars include fire or smoke in the cockpit. This past Saturday, Tony Stewart’s car struck and killed driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a dirt track race after Ward Jr. left his vehicle during the caution period and walked down the track. The rule takes effect immediately and will apply to all of NASCAR’s series.
“Throughout the history of our sport, NASCAR has reviewed and analyzed situations and occurrences that take place not just in NASCAR racing but also throughout all motorsports and other sports,” Pemberton said. “When we believe we can do something to make our sport safer and better for the competitors and others involved in the competition environment, we react quickly. Safety always has been priority No. 1 at NASCAR.”