VA Race Track Owner: Exceedingly Dangerous To Get Out Of Car On Track
Bassett, VA - The discussion of protocol for racetracks and drivers is taking off after a 20-year-old racer died at a track after NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck him with his car.
Amateur video shows Ward Jr. stepping out of his car after NASCAR driver Tony Stewart helped cause a crash. Then, you see Ward down and lifeless after Stewart's car hit him.
"When it's a person versus a vehicle, the person always loses," said French Grimes.
Grimes owns Fork Mountain Raceway and heads the helm at RaceSaver Sprint Series. He has decades of experience inside sprint cars just like the ones raced on Saturday.
"You just don't get out of your car on the race track and go out and walk into incoming cars," said Grimes. "You just don't do it. It's quite unusual for someone to get out of their car to confront another car when it's running. I mean, it's exceedingly dangerous."
That danger, Grimes tells ABC 13, is something he advises any racer about before hitting the gas on his dirt track. If a driver steps out of his car on the track, according to Grimes, the race will stop as soon as they can and that driver is thrown out and suspended from his raceway.
"You have to temper your emotions with realities you're dealing with."
Reports say Stewart hit Ward at about 30-35 miles per hour. Grimes says these sprint cars will get upwards of 150 miles per hour depending on the track and about two laps to completely stop the vehicle.