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NASCAR's Helton Hints At Sprint Cup Schedule Change In '15 Season
Published November 18, 2013
DEFINING MOMENT: SPORTING NEWS' Bob Pockrass noted Helton "stands by NASCAR's decision" to remove driver Martin Truex Jr. from the Chase for the Sprint Cup and put drivers Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon in after the manipulation scandal at Richmond Int'l Raceway in the final race before the Chase. Helton believes that NASCAR’s penalties and new rules have "had the desired effect of keeping teams from using team orders to manipulate the finish of a race." Helton: "It was a defining moment" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 11/15).
SETTING PRECEDENT? IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti was forced to retire on Thursday following injuries he sustained in a crash in the Grand Prix of Houston last month, and SPORTING NEWS' Pockrass noted Franchitti's doctors "advised him that he risks significant permanent injury if he drives in a racecar again." That type of diagnosis is "exactly what worries some NASCAR drivers about the implementation of baseline concussion testing beginning next year to help determine whether a driver should race after suffering a concussion." The ImPACT test that NASCAR will use can "help determine the impact of a concussion as it measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed and reaction time." But Helton on Friday "wouldn't go as far as saying that Franchitti's retirement validates NASCAR's decisions to implement baseline testing" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 11/15).