Daytona Notebook: Humpy Wheeler supports short track safety

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013

Longtime racing promoter H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler has added his voice to the calls for improved safety on short ovals in America, including the mandatory use of certified head restraints.

“In my opinion, the safety problem on the short tracks has reached an epidemic,” said Wheeler. “It needs to be addressed by all of the sanctioning bodies as well as the promoters who operate these tracks independently.”

Currently chairman of The Wheeler Company, a sports consulting firm, Wheeler is the former promoter at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and has served on the board of the National Head Injury Foundation.

He cited a presentation by HANS Performance Products at the IMIS Safety and Technical Conference in December. The study showed an increase in deaths on short ovals in the U.S. during the 10 years after Earnhardt Sr.’s fatal accident and identified 24 fatal accidents that likely could have been prevented by use of a head restraint.

Papis gets deal with RCR

Veteran road racer Max Papis is scheduled to compete in three NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2013 for Richard Childress Racing in the No. 33 Chevrolet, including two road course races and one oval event.

The Como, Italy native is scheduled to drive the No. 33 Chevrolet at Iowa Speedway (June 8), Road America (June 22), and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Aug. 17).

Crew member reinstated

NASCAR has reinstated former Cup series crew member Jerome Frey upon his successful completion of NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Frey was indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on Aug. 10, 2011 for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.

Keselowski heads to TV booth

Reigning Cup champion Brad Keselowski will join NASCAR on Fox host Chris Myers and Michael Waltrip during Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited from the Hollywood Hotel studio. Keselowski will offer in-race analysis throughout the duration of Saturday’s race.

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