Firestorm: 2000, 2001 — The Years That Forever Changed NASCAR, a 10-episode documentary podcast series, is slated for release on Thursday, February 18, 2001, the 20th anniversary of the 2001 Daytona 500.
The year 2000 was marked by the tragic losses of three drivers — Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin and Tony Roper — across each of NASCAR’s top-three national touring divisions. The tragedies sparked a conversation in NASCAR about safety, and pitted Old School drivers who were either adamantly opposed or, at best, reluctant to change against New School competitors who were willing to consider whatever it took to improve safety.
Dale Earnhardt was one of the most legendary drivers in NASCAR history, and his fatal accident on the final turn of the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 ignited a firestorm of controversy, criticism and conspiracy. Finally, in October, Blaise Alexander was killed at the end of an ARCA event at Charlotte.
As heart breaking as those two years were, they led to monumental changes in the fight for safety in the sport. Since October 2001, not a single driver has been fatally injured in any of NASCAR’s top-three national touring divisions.
Firestorm will devote episodes to each of the five magnificent drivers who died in 2000 and 2001; one to the early safety controversies of the year 2000; one to the 2001 Daytona 500; one to the immediate aftermath of that event; one to the avalanche of criticism and conspiracy that took place afterward; and, finally, to the legacy of the years 2000 and 2001.
The documentary podcast series will be available on all major podcasting platforms, including iTunes: https://apple.co/2Zt1aZS.
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