We lost Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
Things have changed a bunch since he was killed at the Daytona 500. Tracks have SAFER barriers that help absorb a large amount of impact force - which helps avoid the basilar skull fracture that killed him. The cars have gotten a lot less lethal as well - for both the crowd and the drivers. Tethers hold hoods, wheel assemblies, trunk lids and so on so when a major crash occurs, the parts stay together and not fly into the crowd. The cars themselves are capable of absorbing some pretty hard hits without transferring that energy to the drivers' bodies. They've been aerodynamically tweaked to try to keep them from flying into the air when they get sideways or backwards.
There are those who disagree with all this - the drivers should be wearing football helmets and piloting cars straight from the showroom floor with the glass knocked out and a maybe a roll cage tacked on inside as a minor concession. That would make it a sport for manly men again.
I dunno - if I'm going into a gunfight, I'm not wearing a t-shirt with a target on it to show what a stud I really am. I'll be wearing whatever ballistic clothing I can get and using cover, etc. to save my ass. I'm all in on the staying alive thing.
I don't see why racers should have to die for our entertainment to be entertaining.