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Sunday, August 5, 2012

In wake of tragic fan death at Pocono, question must be asked: Could NASCAR have done anything to prevent it?

(AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Mostly empty camping and parking lots appear behind the grandstands after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Sunday, at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. A lightning strike in the parking lot at Pocono Raceway after the rain-shortened race killed one person and injured nine others, racetrack officials said. It wasn't immediately clear if all 10 people were actually struck by lightning in the parking lot behind the grandstand, nor was it known whether one or multiple strikes occurred.

Normally on a race night, I have some sort of comment on the race and who won, how it affects the points, etc.

And there will be time later this week for that, to talk about Jeff Gordon's re-emergence in the Chase Wild Card battle and other implications from Sunday's rain-shortened race at Pocono.

But tonight, I don't really feel like doing that. The only news that really mattered Sunday in the NASCAR world is that a fan was struck by lightning and died after the race ended.

In all, 10 people were injured in the lightning strike (or possibly multiple strikes), in the parking lot behind a grandstand. Of the 10, 1 has died, and one is still in critical condition as I write this. The identity of the fan killed won't be released until family members are notified.

Times like this make you realize just how fleeting life can be, and of course questions are going to arise about whether it needed to happen.

When did the warning of storms and lightning come? And should NASCAR have stopped the race sooner? And if they had stopped the race sooner, would those people have been driving home by the time the lightning hit and not out in the open to get hit?

I could go on with the "what ifs", but the reality at this point in time is we have no way to accurately answer those questions, and maybe never will. Conjecture will do no good, and those answers hopefully will come in time.

No, there is no blame to be placed tonight.

Tonight, all we can do is mourn the loss of life, say prayers for the family of the deceased, and do our best to enjoy and appreciate our own lives.

Because as we all learned today, the end could come at any time.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe, when a severe storm is approaching, it would be wise to stop the race, and get the fans to shelter before it arrives, rather than waiting for the rain to come.

As long as cars are circling the track, fans aren't going to be too keen on leaving.

The saftey of the fans at the track is way more important than trying to squeeze in a few more laps, even if it means halting the race before halfway.

NASCAR, obviously, thinks differently.

August 6, 2012 at 8:29 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's completely NASCAR's fault. They wanna put their focus on the driver who won the race and ignored the death of a person who got struck by lightning. No wonder why there are empty seats at every racetrack and became so greedy making every single wrong decision in the book.

And stop it with the whining and saying "it's not NASCAR's fault". The person killed by a lightning strike, it shouldn't had happened beforehand in the hands of NA$CAR's idiocy.

August 8, 2012 at 4:09 AM 

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