I applaud Dale Junior for making the very tough decision to seek out medical care and remove himself from the car when he knew that something wasn't right. His decision to drive or not directly affects the safety of 42 other drivers, 258 over-the-wall crew members (6 per team, 43 teams), 43 NASCAR pit road officials but also the countless other behind-the-wall crew members, media representatives, owners, family members, fans with hot passes, safety crews, NASCAR officials, and even the fans in the lower rows of the stands. Some people would accuse me of being dramatic about that and making this more serious than it is. But a concussion is a very serious medical problem that should not be taken lightly.
According to the Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.com) the symptoms are:
Do YOU want to strap yourself into a car and race at 200 miles per hour inches away from a man experiencing any of those symptoms? I wouldn't want to drive 35 miles an hour a lane away from someone with any of those problems.
At any moment, a driver could make a decision on-track that directly affects the health, safety and lives of the drivers, crewmen, officials and fans around him. Do I need to remind you of names like Dale Earnhardt Senior and "Fireball" Roberts along with all of the other drivers listed on Wikipedia in the List of NASCAR fatal accidents? This is serious. I'm not a Dale Junior fan but I don't want him or any other driver to be removed from a car and taken to the hospital on a stretcher.
Rusty Wallace needs to shut up and stop advocating that people lie about their concussions and drive anyways. That's heard not just by the professional drivers but also by the fans at home. As a former driver with influence, he should be urging people to admit they don't feel well and seek medical attention. And above all else, do NOT put yourself or the people around you in a dangerous and potentially life-ending position. Until he admits that he is not a doctor and does not know best in this situation, he needs to just keep his damned mouth shut.