Sanctioning bodies in all types of racing are tightening up the rulebooks in order to better protect their drivers. Here's a sampling of some of the changes for 2004.
ARCA* All cars must be equipped with a Race Safe light system.
ASA* Requires a second dash bar in the car's centersection.*Added a required metal plate to be installed behind the driver seat to protect the driver's back and head.* Hood tethers are now required.* Refined the wording of its rules regarding seat mounting.* A "sprint" head net is now required on the right side of the driver's head.* Requires a collapsible steering shaft.* Requires all cars to be equipped with Audible Alert system to warn drivers of wrecks or cautions on the track.
NASCAR's Regional Touring Series* Appointed a field investigator for each series, whose only concern is safety. Will act as an information source for drivers as well as a safety inspector.* An approved head-and-neck restraint system is now required for all drivers.* Minimum age for driving is now 18 years.* Anyone over pit wall during a race must wear a full firesuit and helmet.
Southern All-Stars* Will concentrate this season on in-car fire systems. Will strongly suggest each car have, as a minimum system, a 5-pound Halon bottle (or other equivalent system) plumbed to nozzles aimed at the driver, fuel cell, and engine compartment.
USAR* Anyone over pit wall during a race must wear a full firesuit and helmet.