ARCA: Statement Released Regarding Brian Finney’s Fire At Toledo

Jacob Seelman ARCA 4 Comments

TOLEDO, Ohio — In the wake of Brian Finney’s fiery incident at Toledo Speedway during practice for the Menards 200, the ARCA Racing Series has released a statement reaffirming their commitment to safety at their race events.

Finney’s car caught fire just before the start-finish line on a practice run Saturday, rolling to a stop at the exit of Turn 2 and quickly becoming engulfed in flames.

While Finney was able to exit the car and was uninjured, his car and ARCA Ilmor 396 engine were a complete loss, with videos circulating social media showing safety officials doing nothing to help Finney exit the car or extinguish the blaze.

Ultimately, Finney himself — with the aid of Cunningham Motorsports crew chief Chad Bryant — put out the fire with the help of a nearby extinguisher, drawing outcry from fans who questioned ARCA’s track response crews and their care for the drivers in their series.

Tuesday night, ARCA President Ron Drager responded to those questions, issuing a statement exclusively to Race Chaser Online regarding the incident and admitting that the safety response shown Saturday was not up to the level that the series and sanctioning body expects.

“We review our safety policies and procedures on an ongoing basis, and our combined track and series safety response to this incident falls short of the standards we have established,” said Drager. “Our review of the incident is ongoing; however, we made adjustments in several areas prior to Sunday’s race, including vehicle placement, equipment and assignment of duties of the response team.”

“I’ve spoken directly with Brian, both Saturday after the incident and today (Tuesday), as well as with our staff, in reviewing how we can best respond to such circumstances. Throughout our 65-year history in the sport, we have placed safety at the forefront and are committed to continuing to do so.”

The next event on the ARCA Racing Series schedule is the Shore Lunch 250, set for June 3 at Elko Speedway.

 

About the Writer

Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.

Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.

The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

Email Jacob at: editor@racechaseronline.com

Follow on Twitter: @Speed77Radio or @JacobSeelman77

Email Race Chaser Online: news@racechaseronline.com

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Comments 4

  1. ARCA’s statement to the failed safety protocol is not good enough. Your “safety” crew apparently would have allowed a driver to be seriously injured or worse rather than help. I think you need to look at the faces of Brian Finney’s two young boys pictured standing by and looking into the window of their dad’s charred racecar and explain why safety crews didn’t think they should help him. And was there an ambulance there to check him out?

    I know it’s expensive to put on a racing event. Been there. But what happened at toledo is inexcusable. An apology to Brian, his family, the other drivers, and fans is in order. Not the poor excuse of press release seen above. Even more importantly, a PROMISE, and follow through that it doesn’t happen again. Provide qualified, well equipped, trained safety personnel.

  2. Arca is one of the most safety conscious sanctioning bodies out there Ron Drager and crew of officials police safety issues daily they will always improve safety race torace

  3. I have raced Arca or 30 years I have needed their fire response team twice they did a great job when I needed them one time at Delaware Speedway when I’ll float bowl bowl came out and caught the car on fire another time at Toledo Speedway when I blew a motor and a rod come out the pan and exhaust of the aut when a float bowl bowl came out and caught the car on fire another time at Toledo Speedway when I blew a motor and a rod come out the pan and I had an oil fire tired of all the bashing arca didn’t catch my car on fire they did the best job they could do they had Highwinds that didn’t help the matter stop bashing everybody’s on the same team it is a dangerous sport and don’t forget it

  4. In this day of “safety first” racing, your safety crew dropped the ball. Thankfully the driver escaped, but what if he couldn’t get out, we would be talking about an even more tragic situation. I don’t know and I’m not much of a fan of Brian Finley but ARCA, you need to step up and help him obtain / purchase a car so he doesn’t miss a race. I would hate for this to turn into a “Doug Wolfgang vs World of Outlaw” situation. I would like to see ARCA do the right thing, and also make sure that this situation doesn’t happen again.

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