Dale Earnhardt's shocking death at Sunday's Daytona 500 stunned the NASCAR community of racers and fans.
Earnhardt was a dominating presence in NASCAR racing. His absence will leave a huge void.
If the tragedy were related in terms of the National Basketball Association, the only equivalent scenario would be if Michael Jordan died while competing in the NBA finals.
Because of the magnitude of Earnhardt's highly publicized death NASCAR officials will feel pressure to take actions making racing safer. Perhaps there are measures that can reduce some of the risks in that high-risk profession. Maybe the Head and Neck Support device is a partial answer. Maybe there are other safety measures which can be implemented.
Still, the brutal truth is that as long cars are raced at speeds of up to 180 mph in a confined area, there will be deaths. It's a factor that is part and parcel of the sport. That harsh reality can't be wished or legislated away.
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