DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. suggested one addition to NASCAR's extensive report of his father's fatal Daytona crash: Set standards for making seat belts.
"I don't know if they talked about this or not, but it would be good if they could establish standards for the manufacturers and seat-belt companies, like there are in the Navy and Air Force for seat belts in fighter jets," he said Wednesday at Darlington Raceway.
The 26-year-old son of deceased Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt wasn't picking at seat-belt manufacturer Bill Simpson, one of whose belts was found broken in the elder Earnhardt's car, according to NASCAR's report.
His only beef with Simpson products? "My uniform shrinks up after three months," Earnhardt Jr. said. "But I still feel comfortable with Simpson seat belts."
Earnhardt Jr. talked for the first time Wednesday after NASCAR released its findings about his father's death on Tuesday.
NASCAR's report did not solely blame the broken seat belt found in Earnhardt's car or mandate drivers wear a head-and-neck restraint device, although many, including Earnhardt Jr., have used them.
Earnhardt was not wearing a head and neck restraint at Daytona.
Earnhardt Jr., 26, wore the Hutchens device to support his head and neck at the Pepsi 400 last weekend. He was pressured by drivers worried about his safety.
"A bunch of drivers asked me to wear one," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Terry Labonte was probably the first guy who said he wanted me to be around a long time and to wear it."
Earnhardt Jr. said it was uncomfortable at first, but he adjusted it several times during the race's rain delays and the device became easier to handle.
In all, 41 of 43 drivers at Michigan Speedway wore a head and neck restraint. Earnhardt Jr. said he would most likely keep wearing one.
Earnhardt Jr. agreed weeks ago to promote Darlington's upcoming Southern 500 on Sept. 2. At the time, NASCAR had not scheduled its news conference about his father's crash investigation. So Earnhardt Jr. was met by about 70 media members, several who drove in from Atlanta to hear his views.
"I know NASCAR was scrutinized for being secretive, but I think they did it in a real professional manner," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Everything that they believe and have found are real consistent with my beliefs and the family's interests. We're very content with everything."
Since Earnhardt's crash, NASCAR has been questioned about how one of the sport's most popular and successful drivers could die so suddenly.
NASCAR outlined several steps Tuesday to improve safety.
It said it will install "black boxes" in cars, similar to flight-data recorders on airplanes, to help understand the forces during crashes and improve safety.
NASCAR also will use computer models to design safer cars and will be involved in testing race track barriers. The organization will commission a study on restraint systems to take a closer look at seat-belt strength.
NASCAR also will open a research center in Conover, N.C., sometime next year and will continue to work with experts on car safety.
However, the report contained no recommendations on changes to cars or barriers.
"I pretty much knew everything" in the report, Earnhardt Jr. said. "Or had figured it out myself."
The past six months have not been easy for Earnhardt Jr. His victory at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona in July revived memories of his father, while the constant questions about what NASCAR might discover were a regular topic.
Earnhardt Jr. said this week's release gives him and the sport confidence to move forward.
"I don't know if you can ever say you move on," Earnhardt Jr. said. "But it puts a lot of stuff behind us."
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