Kevin Harvick, Other Drivers Call Out NASCAR Following Kurt Busch’s Pocono Crash

by Patrick Norton

As Kurt Busch misses his second consecutive race with concussion symptoms, drivers appear to take issue with NASCAR’s protocols. Kevin Harvick remains outspoken and at the forefront of driver-safety discussions. Harvick and other competitors raised concerns in speaking with reporters on Saturday before the Brickyard event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Harvick plainly stated, “The concerns that the drivers have just haven’t seemed to resonate into a really, really quick response into trying to make that better. That’s concerning. I know that everybody will tell you that they’re working on it.” Harvick makes a really important point, highlighting that the inactions of the league speak much louder than its words.

But his diatribe does not end with simply pointing out the inefficiencies that ultimately led to Busch’s injury. Harvick continues, “I don’t think anybody really understands, except for the drivers that have crashed into something, the violence that comes in the car. It doesn’t seem to be a high enough priority to me.”

Most major sports leagues involve prioritized input from former competitors. The NFL often defers to a committee with retired players included for player safety concerns. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety often sees a former official or player in charge. But according to Harvick, NASCAR fails in its attempts to incorporate experience into the discussion.

Busch’s 23XI teammate Bubba Wallace said, “You never know which hit can trigger it, right? That happened to be the one. I look back at my hit at Atlanta, and numbers-wise that was the hardest hit of my career and I was ready to climb back the next day. Crazy how it works out.”

Kurt Busch’s Lingering Absence Carries On

NASCAR medical officials did not clear Busch ahead of Sunday’s Verizon 200 at the Brickyard. While the driver won’t work behind the wheel this weekend, he shared on Twitter that he did receive clearance for “light duty.”

In Busch’s spot, 19-year-old Ty Gibbs slots in with a chance to impress on Sunday. However, Gibbs shared a remorseful attitude, saying, “I’m happy to help out 23XI Racing this week at Indianapolis, but again our thoughts are with Kurt and getting him healthy.”