It’s easy to forget just how dangerous auto racing is.
The safety measures work so well that several times a year in NASCAR alone you can see a fiery wreck that everyone walks away from.
Does anybody remember “Thrills and Spills?” ESPN used to put together an hour-long show that consisted solely of the best wrecks from the previous year.
It was fun to watch, mostly because no one ever got seriously hurt.
But on Saturday, everyone watching the Honda Indy 500 saw right through the illusion.
And it cost the life of one of the best drivers in the sport.
Before the race, drivers were concerned about the speed of the track. Some people will point to IndyCar and say they should have stopped the race.
Others will say the recklessness of the drivers, especially those who went four-wide, is to blame.
The fault lies somewhere in between. Dan Wheldon was a professional, and he knew about the risks. But everyone involved in the sport needs to realize that a life is more important than that next spot on the pole or that extra ratings point.
NASCAR learned this lesson after the loss of Dale Earnhardt.
IndyCar, it’s your turn.