Crashes and collisions at the race track can be scary at times and every once in a while lead to injury or worse. But a team of volunteers is making the sport a lot safer. While measures have been taken to secure the racecars themselves, Race Rescuers are responsible for securing the rest once an accident happens.
While moments like these can be exciting to watch, no one is rooting for anybody to get hurt. Thankfully, guys like Jay Masur and his team are always nearby and they speed into action.
"We yell to the driver to see if we can get the driver to say something because that kind of tells us whether he's alert or not. From that point, we kind of go in and take care of it," Masur said.
Masur has been running a race rescue crew for more than three decades. He says the difference between what happens at the racetrack and a crash on say, a highway, is you get to watch it.
"So we got a pretty good idea of what the injuries possibly could be. So at that point, the adrenaline hits the driver and sometimes they're not feeling the pain right away. Sometimes we give them a little bit of time to collect their thoughts and then we assess them," Masur said.
Incredibly, Masur's team is made up of 12-15 volunteers that include anything from firefighters to paramedics to foam and chemical experts. That crew gained national attention recently when they tended to Tony Stewart during a crash on the dirt in Iowa.
"To be there to help Tony Stewart in his time of need was humbling at best as it’s humbling for all the people that we help but it was very humbling to be there to help Tony. I've learned a lot about him and he's just a genuine good person," Masur said.
While helping a racing icon like Stewart was definitely an honor for Masur, he says the treatment 'Smoke' received was no different than anybody else his team has helped over the years.
"That was one of the events we were working in Oscaloosa, IA, and frankly whether it's in Huset's or Oscaloosa, IA, I don't look at a car number. Sometimes I don't even look at a face when I'm dealing with my patients because they all get treated the same. Sometimes I don't know who it is until it's over with," Masur said.
Masur's crew is called Med-Star Race Rescue and because the team has more than a dozen volunteers, they can be stationed around the track to improve response time.