Sandusky, OHIO (August 21, 2001) - To most racers, driving fast is their focus. Safety is an afterthought. However, NASCAR Craftsman Truck driver, Matt Crafton, believes the two go hand in hand.
"Wearing the HANS makes me feel more secure and I don't have a problem getting in and out of the truck with it on," stated Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 XeSightingSystems.com Silverado and 2000 Champion of the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series. "I feel it is important to wear the HANS device and test out any additional safety equipment available in hopes of decreasing my chances of being injured or paralyzed in an accident."
Crafton is a rookie driver for Duke Thorson and his SealMaster Racing team which races full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Prior to racing trucks, Crafton raced in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series claiming the championship after just 2 years. There, Crafton didn't wear a HANS device. However, now that he has stepped up in the racing world, Crafton has worn the HANS device during each race this season and the team has installed Simpson safety nets around the drivers seat.
"The trucks are much faster and race on larger tracks than the late-model cars, meaning if I hit the wall, it will hurt much more than hitting the wall at a short track like Sandusky Speedway," stated Crafton.
Along the lines of safety, SealMaster Racing recently signed a major associate sponsor for the balance of the 2001 season. XeSighting Systems is a high performance xenon headlight designed to improve visibility and safety for consumers who are looking for added safety for their family vehicles. XeSighting Systems are available online at www.XeSightingSystems.com and are available for the Chevrolet Silverado, Tahoe and Suburban.
Will the addition of soft walls make a difference in the sport? Will this allow an opening for potential race sponsors who shy away from danger to enter the sport if it were made safer? Would the additional of safety features turn fans away from racing?
"We have had companies tell us they do not want to be associated with racing because of the risks involved, however other companies have chosen to look past that and, instead factor in the exposure from live ESPN coverage," stated Janet Risner, sponsorship coordinator for SealMaster Racing. "There are companies out there who will take the risk in order to get closer to their target customers by sponsoring a race truck, but in doing so they also support safety decisions made by NASCAR."
For more information, check out www.nascar.com, www.mattcrafton.com, or www.sealmasterracing.com.