The debate over oval tracks versus road courses is as long as motorsports have been in existence, and the arguments hinge on points as varied as difficulty in navigating the courses to the safety of spectators.
The safety of NASCAR fans definitely came into question at the Autódrome of León race on June 25 in Mexico.
According to Motorsport, during the fifth round of the race, 23-year-old driver Santiago Tovar, who is in his fourth season of racing, lost control of his vehicle, going off the course and through a tire barrier into a crowd of race fans. Four spectators were injured in the frightening accident.
Santiago blames the track, which has been in use since 1976. “The truth is that we should not bring this track,” he says. “The cars do not fit in this track. The brakes get very hot, and from lap five you do not know if you’re going to brake or not.”
Other drivers have also expressed their concern over the track’s involvement in the NASCAR Mexico circuit. Motorsport reports that the incident was reviewed by NASCAR representative Joe Balash, but no official details have been shared.
Fortunately, and quite surprisingly, the race fans’ injuries were minor, and they were attended to immediately.