After Kasey Kahne’s scary sprint car crash on Saturday at Williams Grove Speedway, the question of whether teams should place restrictions on their drivers’ off weekends activities arose.
But how could you put restrictions on these drivers? How could you possibly tell Tony Stewart “Listen, we need you to stay at home this weekend. You might get hurt.”? You couldn’t. Just like you can’t tell Kasey Kahne not to drive for his own team, especially after the circumstances that arose with Joey Saldana’s crash just a week before.
However, can teams control what their drivers do on off weekends? Think of all of the incidents that drivers have had on off weekends just in the past couple of years. Denny Hamlin tore his ACL while playing basketball and Carl Edwards broke his foot while playing Frisbee with a few friends. Drivers could hurt themselves anywhere, on or off weekend.
It is possible for a team to contractually limit what their drivers participate in on the off weekends, but it is improbable. A team cannot tell their driver what they can and cannot do unless it is PR or business related. There are only three off weekends per season anyway.
Yes, teams invest a lot of money in their drivers. Yes, Kasey Kahne could have been seriously injured this past weekend. But there are times for business and there are times for drivers to enjoy themselves. We’re all human. We could get hurt anywhere.
You can contact Holly at Potcluv2292@windstream.net or through Twitter: @mybrandneweyes.