After watching its most popular driver sit out for a large number of races last year, NASCAR announced today that it will implement new concussion protocols which will go into effect for each NASCAR national series beginning in 2017.
Here are some of the highlights:
- If a car sustains any type of damage from contact or a wreck during the race, that driver is required to take a trip to the Infield Care Center.
- If a car goes to the garage area at any point during the race, that driver must be checked out at the Infield Care Center.
- Infield Care Center doctors will now use SCAT-3 diagnostic tools during the post-crash treatments to help check for head injuries.
“NASCAR has worked very closely with the industry to ensure our concussion protocol reflects emerging best practices in this rapidly developing area of sports medicine,” said NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, Jim Cassidy. “We will continue to utilize relationships we’ve had for years with leaders in the neurological research field who helped to shape these updates.”
Along with the new protocols, NASCAR also recently announced that they’ve partnered with American Medical Response to provide greater medical attention for drivers beginning this season. AMR will provide state licensed doctors and trauma specialists in vehicles that can go out to the site of a crash immediately after it happens and respond to the driver at the scene.
“I think it’s great. NASCAR does a lot to protect the drivers and I think anything that we can do to further that is great,” said Hendrick Motorsports relief driver Alex Bowman. “Obviously that’s an area that has been talked a lot about for the past couple months and it’s an area that everybody is still learning about. The more stuff they bring in to help with that the better.”
AMR, the largest provider of medical transportation services in the United States, now takes the role as the Official Medical Services Partner of NASCAR.