INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27: Dario Franchitti pours the victory milk over his head in victory lane in celebration of winning the IZOD IndyCar Series 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Franchitti - a four-time IndyCar champion who also enjoyed a brief NASCAR career - sustained head and neck injuries in a violent crash last month in Houston. Doctors warned Franchitti that continuing to race could be detrimental to his long-term health.
Track officials attend to a damaged section of a crossover gate after Kyle Larson's car got into the fence during the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytonat International Speedway.
This weekend's dramatic crash in the Grand Prix of Houston was a fresh reminder that no matter how safe racing becomes, there is always room for innovation.
In a split second, Dario Franchitti's car launched into the air and caught the catch fence. For the most part, the fencing did its job. Franchitti's mangled machine was sent spinning wildly back onto the track, while fans were kept out of extreme danger.
Debris and a section of the fence were sent flying into the grandstands, with 13 people treated for minor injuries. A fan captured the moment of impact on a dramatic cell phone video.
While Franchitti continues to recover, the incident is a tough reminder that in motorsports, increased safety is a constantly moving target.
Sanctioning bodies across the motorsports world have come a long way in improving nearly every aspect of safety. The cars are safer and drivers are more protected than ever before.
However, the threat of danger still looms over racing. For some, that potential danger is a draw, the reason they race or watch, the thrill that keeps them coming back week after week.
Yet it is the job of each sanctioning body to do all in their power to eliminate that threat of danger. Learning from incidents in the past, advances have been made on many fronts.
One of those fronts continues to be the catch fence separating the action on the track and the fans sitting in the grandstands.
Jimmie Johnson appeared on FOX Sports Live Sunday night to talk about his sixth NASCAR championship. In the one-on-one interview with Dan O'Toole, he was also asked about McNabb's controversal comments about drivers not being athletes.