If you're going to race, there's a high probability that you're also going to crash at some point in your career. It's a part of racing. That part of racing was on display over the weekend at the Houston Grand Prix Indy Car race, when Dario Franchitti and Takuma Sato got tangled up coming around a fast corner.
Sato's car wandered into the loose section of the track and his car got a bit skittish. Franchitti was going to go around him on the outside but the two cars connected. This sent Franchitti's car up and into the catch fence before he came to rest back down on the track.
It's an incredibly scary accident that will remind some of the crash that claimed the life of Dan Wheldon back in 2011. Dario is banged up, but he is expected to heal fully and will do so without any need for surgery. He did break his back and ankle, however, so he didn't escape this incident without injury. Still, it could've been a lot worse.
There's no doubt that this accident will bring up the ever-present discussion pertaining to safety in racing. Are the catch fences the best solution we have right now? They certainly didn't prevent debris from heading into the crowd. We realize that racing will never be completely safe, and it shouldn't be as the danger is part of the draw.
Additionally, we understand the challenges that arise when turning city streets into a temporary race course for extremely high-performance machines. The issue of safety for both drivers and fans won't be solved in one sitting.
It is something that needs to be addressed though, and a crash like Franchitti's will probably bring the discussion back to the forefront.