NASCAR Concussions: An old problem, a new concern

NASCAR Concussions: An old problem, a new concern


I’m Ken Willis, that’s Godwin Kelly, and
we recently completed a package on NASCAR’s new concussion era, for lack of
a better term, and we learned some things, we told some stories and we discovered
that it was never a huge issue for NASCAR because over the decades they had
bigger problems than than concussions as big a problem as concussions have become.
NASCAR was trying to keep people alive for 50 or 60 years Well, I think, first of all, there was an
awareness and other sports, namely NFL football, college football. Dale Earnhardt’s death in ’01 sparked the safety revolution and what
came from that: SAFER barriers, HANS devices, new cockpits, better seat design, harnesses… You don’t want to jinx things but they have practically solved that issue. Now the ironic thing about the
concussion series is like you said Dale Earnhardt’s death, you know, got NASCAR on the safety issue. They triggered the revolution, the modern safety revolution. And Dale Earnhardt Jr., you know, is the guy that triggered the concussion
revolution. Yeah, his well-chronicled issues that basically led him to retire a little earlier than he otherwise probably would have retired. Exactly. I’ll admit that having influence over my exit only became meaningful when it started to
seem most unlikely. As you know I missed a few races last year and during that
time I had to face the realization that my driving career may have already ended
without me as so much as getting a vote at the table. And so we, anyway we get
into all that and we discuss the concussion issue from the the prevention
side, the detection side, and, you know, the rehab side, how do you recover from that. And I think we hit on all that in a very long package on concussions that
includes sidebar stories on some old drivers that
are no longer racing and dealt with a lot of a lot of big hits
including a local racer David Rogers, Bobby Allison, Jerry Nadeau, Randy LaJoie
was very open and upfront, Geoff Bodine talked extensively about that. Did you find that it was
amazing how much information these guys were willing to share? Yeah, after
the fact, yeah, they said, “Oh, yeah.” There were plenty of times they raced
when they shouldn’t have. By today’s standards there’s no way they’d
be allowed in the car and they got in it because that’s, guess what, that’s the way
things were done. And David Rogers told me some stories about what happened to him in a car and a short track. You wouldn’t think this could happen to a short track but it it just makes your hair stand on end, the things he talked
about. All my all of my molars, like, six or seven of my molars were split
open into three and four pieces from just the impact of
gritting your teeth and hitting the, hitting so hard it just exploded my teeth. He had some great stories. And then you know we were doing we did research on head injuries,
concussions, talk to people with concussions and I did a story on Bobby
Allison but it was more through the eyes of his family and his daughter
and how they had the… He got injured in 1988 so they’ve been dealing with his injury
for all those years. We learned a lot and hopefully we told the
story in a decent manner that will be entertaining and maybe even educational.
maybe maybe good check it out Maybe. Maybe. Could be. Check it out! The News Journal. News- journal-online.com. Thank you. you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *