Schatz expressed these concerns a month after the dirt track racing world had mourned the loss of former NASCAR/Sprint Car Driver Jason Leffler, who died as a result of an accident during sprint car race at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey. During the same time period, his car owner, Tony Stewart, had suffered a broken leg as a result of a violent crash during a World of Outlaws show in Iowa.
In retrospect, maybe Schatz was on to something?
"I'm not confident that safety measures are (being) met in this sport. There are a lot of people that are working hard to perfect things, to make things better. But sometimes people don't see things until people get hurt," Schatz told the Associated Press. "There are some areas that safety can be addressed. But it's also a gray area that no one wants to get involved in."
This week, fans will attend the 55th Annual FVP Knoxville Nationals with a heavy heart as they mourn the death of Sprint car driver Bryan Clausen. The Indiana native died on August 7, 2016, a result of injuries he suffered from an accident at Belleville (Kansas) Midget Nationals USAC midget race. Clausen was leading the race when he flipped and t-boned by another driver that was a lap down.
Many fans again will ask the question why?
Something to ponder – sprint car racing – both USAC and winged sprint cars are exciting race cars to watch. They’re also very dangerous. Everything happens in a split second. The race cars seem to get faster by the year, 410 sprints cars weigh roughly 1,500 pounds and are powered by a 900 horsepower engine. You wonder sometimes if the safety measures can keep up with the technology?
The driver is literally sitting in a high-tech rocket ship made out of lightweight metal. On the longer tracks, a sprint car can hit speeds of at least 140 miles an hour. Mistakes at a high rate of speed can be fatal.
The loss of Bryan Clausen is tragic. The racing world has lost another amazing, talented young driver way too early. Clausen was known for his ability to race at a high level on many different circuits and he will be missed. For now, it's hard to make any sense of this tragic loss. Prayers going to the Clausen family.
We have truly lost one of the great racers-and an even greater man. Our prayers are with Lauren and Bryan's family. pic.twitter.com/wuEzdMLgve— Knoxville Raceway (@knoxvilleraces) August 8, 2016
@TonyStewart @BryanClauson Can only imagine what would have laid ahead of this young man #Megatalent #gentleperson RIP BC— Arie Luyendyk (@ArieLuyendyk) August 8, 2016