Safety Sells! | Performance Racing Industry
Safety Sells!

Whenever I see a particularly hard crash in one of NASCAR's national touring series, I get to thinking about how far safety has come at the top levels of racing. Changes range from the new soft walls and head & neck restraints to improved seat belts and driver seat designs.   
In my own late model race car, I like to think I take advantage of all the new safety technology available to me. But when I look around at some of the other teams at my local tracks, I see a huge lack of emphasis on safety. 
Why is that? Why does top-level racing have the latest and greatest in safety equipment and the bottom-level guys don’t?  
I believe the answer is a lack of knowledge. You have to know what is available before you can make an educated decision on the purchase of safety gear and equipment.  
So whose responsibility is it to make sure local racers know how to be safe? If team owners will not do it themselves, then I believe it becomes the track's job. 
With that said, two questions arise: Why are the tracks responsible, and what can they do about it? 
Let's address the second question first. For the last year and a half I have worked in industrial supply sales. One strategy we often use is to bring in sales reps from different companies to help sell their products to the customers. This is something track promoters can do at the local level—and it doesn’t matter what kind of racing you are promoting. For example, it wouldn't be hard for a track promoter to set up a free safety training seminar to educate its race teams.  
I would love to see track promoters bring in safety equipment vendors, have them display their products, and let them educate race teams on how to use them properly. They could even bring along products to sell at a nice discount. 
But safety does not just start and stop in the race car. It starts the moment you unlock the door to the race shop. As someone who owns a business, drives the car and works on his own equipment, I have to be safety-conscious at all times. This includes at the race track, at the race shop, and traveling both to and from the race track. I am potentially liable for the safety of myself, my crew, and anyone else that may be involved in the business. 
I am even liable for the safety of visitors to the race shop—so there are legal issues that race team owners could be better educated about.  
For track owners and promoters, it would be great to see them take a personal interest in ensuring that the revenue generators that race at their track, week in and week out, are at least educated, and even encouraged to use the latest and greatest safety equipment available. 
For team owners, one significant legal issue or, God forbid, a crash, could put you right out of business. You know the old saying, "Safety is everybody's business,” so why not make it part of yours. 
Hammer Time Racing, LLC is a father and son race team with 10 years of experience building and racing dirt and asphalt cars in upstate South Carolina. Bryan and Daniel Alvarez are presently competing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Racing Series LMS Division. Driver Daniel Alvarez also is founder of The Hammer Motorsports Foundation, a non-profit that helps other charities raise funds and promote their causes through motorsports.

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Hammer Time Racing, LLC is a father and son race team with 10 years of experience building and racing dirt and asphalt cars in upstate South Carolina.
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