On Friday NASCAR announced an expansion to its existing concussion protocol.
The changes are part of the recently announced partnership with American Medical Response providing a travelling safety team for all Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
The updated protocol adds a “consistent screening tool for all venues and increasing available neurological support.”
Below are the additions to the protocol.
- As part of the new rule regarding damaged vehicles, a driver whose car sustains damage from an accident or contact of any kind and goes behind the pit wall or to the garage is required to visit the Infield Care Center to be evaluated.
- NASCAR now requires that Infield Care Center physicians incorporate the SCAT-3 diagnostic tool in screening for head injuries.
- AMR will provide on-site neurological consultative support at select NASCAR events during the 2017 season and will work directly with NASCAR in the continued development of concussion protocol.
“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,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, in a press release. “We will continue to utilize relationships we’ve had for years with leaders in the neurological research field who helped to shape these updates.”
The updated protocol comes after 14-time most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed 18 races last year for a concussion. The concussion resulted from a June 12 crash at Michigan International Speedway, but the symptoms didn’t present themselves until week of the July 9 race at Kentucky Speedway.
Matt DiBenedetto was forced to sit out the Nov. 6 Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway after being diagnosed with a concussion following a crash in a Xfinity Series race.
2012 Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski has been a vocal critic of how concussions are treated in NASCAR.
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While Saturday will mark the sixth straight year the NASCAR Xfinity Series will race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there will be significant changes.
Among the changes: the use of restrictor plates, as well as adding aero ducts to aid cars with the draft.
On Tbursday’s edition of NASCAR America, Parker Kligerman took a spin around the hallowed Indianapolis Motor Speedway — on the NBCSN iRacing Simulator, that is — to show how some of those changes will impact the cars and potentially the race.
Check it out in the video above.
Friday will be somewhat of an easy, relaxing day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Cars will only take to the track twice in the afternoon — both being Xfinity Series practice sessions, which will be on the NBC Sports App.
IMS will host the NASCAR Cup Fan Fest from 4:30 – 8 p.m. ET, followed by the NASCAR Cup hauler parade that will see transporters enter the Speedway around 9 p.m. ET.
Here’s the rest of Friday’s schedule (all times Eastern):
FRIDAY, JULY 21
9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Xfinity garage open
1 – 1:55 p.m. – First Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)
3 – 3:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)
What does a sky diver and Olympic-caliber swimmer have in common?
They make their living on NASCAR’s pit road, that’s what.
Check out two of this week’s pit crew all-star nominees, as seen on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America.
On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, several of the stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series tried to explain in three words what to expect with the use of restrictor plates in this Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
See what they said and what they’re thinking about Saturday’s race in the video above.