Kevin Harvick blasts NASCAR over response time of safety team

After being involved in a hard crash, Harvick was upset with how slowly safety workers arrived to render assistance.

Kevin Harvick criticized NASCAR’s emergency medical response team following an accident in Sunday’s Monster Energy Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Harvick was running in the top 10 when, on Lap 70, his car suddenly blew a right-front tire, sending his No. 4 car slamming into the frontstretch wall just past the start/finish. The contact was significant and Harvick, who was uninjured, took a moment to collect himself before getting out of the car. That section of the track is the fastest of the 1.5-mile oval.

“It started vibrating about four or five laps there before it blew out, and I was just trying to ride it to the end of the stage there,” Harvick said. “Obviously, it didn’t make it. The worst part was the medical response. It took them forever to get to the car. I thought we made that better, but obviously we haven’t.”

NASCAR implemented a traveling safety team prior to the season that features a rotating pool of doctors to provide drivers greater continuity with a medical professional who knows them on a more personal level. The team will attend all 36 Cup Series races and both exhibition events. This program was initiated by the drivers’ council, a group of 10 drivers — including Harvick — who meet with NASCAR executives and officials on a regular basis to discuss various issues within the industry.

The addition of the traveling safety team did not involve anything related to the response time of track workers attending to disabled cars.

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