How Monday's Big Crash Could Have Been Prevented

Ben SwareyContributor IAugust 11, 2009

Halfway through Monday's race, Jeff Gordon and Sam Hornish, Jr. were involved in a huge crash going into turn nine. Both drivers hit the wall hard because there are no safer barriers at Watkins Glen. NASCAR installed the safer barriers at most of the tracks, yet there are no safer barriers at the Glen.

What's wrong with this picture?

The walls at Watkins Glen are so poor that I would not even consider them walls. I'm not sure what to call them. The wall was hit so hard that it could have been broken as a result of the impact. If that would have happened, the race could have been stopped.

Who wants to see a race end because of a broken wall?

Also, why is there not a dirt trap in the area in which Gordon and Hornish crashed? Both Gordon and Hornish went into that area before crashing into the wall. If there was a dirt trap in that area, the wreck could have been less severe than it was, or it might not have happened to start with.

Did I mention that Jeff Gordon has a bad back? When drivers crash into a wall, as he and Sam Hornish did, they usually don't leave the scene of the crash with no aches or pains. That wreck could not have been good for Jeff Gordon's back.

Wouldn't you think that NASCAR would learn about safety at the track after Kyle Busch's wreck at Daytona? I am not sure that they have. They didn't come up with the safer barriers until nearly ten years after Dale Earnhardt's wreck at the 2001 Daytona 500.

If Gordon and Hornish would have hit the walls any harder than they did, the fans could have been injured. NASCAR fans could sue NASCAR for injuries at the track. It is NASCAR's responsibility to make sure that the sport is as safe as possible. So far, I am not sure if they are doing that.