In the wake of Kevin Harvick’s criticism of the safety team response in his crash Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, NASCAR reviewed the incident Wednesday.
The study was part of a weekly process of meeting with track services, medical staff to evaluate the reaction to every on-track incident (including oil cleanup, not just crashes). NASCAR logs information from crash data recorders, reviews video and radio transmissions and consults with track physicians and staff.
Though the Fox broadcast showed the response could have been swifter (it took roughly 90 seconds to reach Harvick’s car, and he was waiting for more than a minute after unbuckling his harnesses), NASCAR declined to provide information on how it assessed the incident through a statement attributed to NASCAR Racing Operations officials. The response, which was issued to NBCSports.com after an inquiry for reaction to Harvick’s comment, read:
We conduct in-depth post-event reviews of every incident from the previous race event weekend. That review involves representatives from all safety-related functions, and we closely examine every aspect of the incident, including response time. Safety is paramount, and we’re constantly applying what we learn with an unrelenting commitment to advance the mission.
Harvick made reference to NASCAR’s new traveling safety team that has been established with American Medical Response (“It took them forever to get to the car,” he said. “I thought we made that better, but obviously we haven’t.”)
NASCAR officials categorically denied that the addition of a traveling safety team adversely affected the response time for Harvick’s crash.
NASCAR announced the new partnership with AMR before this season after being lobbied for the change by the Drivers Council (of which Harvick is a member).