Aug 17, 2014 2:50 PM
The death of a dirt track racer Kevin Ward Jr. is changing the game at racing's highest level.
Fans are used to seeing drivers get out of the car to confront other drivers - it's often considered entertainment value. But NASCAR says no more.
A new rule means drivers must stay in their cars unless they're in immediate danger. NASCAR says that's always been it's recommendation.
The decision was made less than a week after NASCAR great Tony Stewart hit and killed a twenty-year-old driver who walked across the track in upstate New York. Ward was seen pointing his finger and seemingly shouting at Stewart after he was pushed up against a wall mid race. Stewart hasn't raced since.
Ward's father tells a Syracuse, New York newspaper, this was the first time his son got out of the car during a race. He also tells the paper, "Apparently, Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn't see him."
The new rule only applies to NASCAR races, but other racing organizations are likely to follow suit. As for the penalty for getting out of the car, NASCAR says that will be considered on a case-by-case basis.