Rick Hendrick prepared to spend more for safety changes to car

“I’m all for whatever it takes” – Rick Hendrick prepared to spend more for safety changes to car

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Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick made it clear that he is ready to do anything to improve safety concerns in the Next Gen car.

Seeing his driver, Alex Bowman, sidelined for one race with concussion-like symptoms, Hendrick came out in support of the measures needed to make drivers’ safety a top priority.

Bowman is the second driver to be sidelined with the same symptoms as Kurt Busch remains out since July.

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Hendrick was asked if he would be willing to spend more for changes to safety in the car, to which he passionately replied:

“Absolutely. I mean, for sure. Our drivers are so important, we don’t want them hurt.

“So, if it meant buying all new (rear) clips Monday morning, I’d do it. I’d be happy to do it. We want them safe. Be it like Alex, Kurt Busch, that’s hard. So I’m all for whatever it takes.

“I think the teams could fix it. If NASCAR wants to do it, I think everybody working together, we could do it in a hurry, test it, have it on the cars ASAP.”

On the safety aspect is the drivers’ health and on the points aspect, Bowman missing one race could be detrimental to his chances of qualifying for the next round. However, NASCAR has allowed a waiver and if he wins the race at the Charlotte Roval, he will advance to the next round.

Nonetheless, Hendrick made it clear that the urgency he is showing to improve safety concerns has nothing to do with whether his driver lost points not racing but rather the safety of the drivers.

“These guys are stars. You spend a lot of money, like, bringing them along over the years. Then to have them hurt, you have sponsors and everything involved, they’re in the playoffs, they get knocked out of the playoffs,” Hendrick said.

“It’s not about the playoffs, it’s about safety, having a guy that wants to be able to race again. We have done really well in the last 10, 15 years with safety in so many ways: the seats, the headrest, everything.

“This car, from the rear impact, it’s just like you’re sitting on a piece of steel. … We need to fix it as soon as we can.

As a team owner, Hendrick’s urgent stance toward safety will come as welcome news to many drivers who have been appealing to NASCAR to make driving conditions better.

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