Father disciplined for going on track to help son

ByBOB POCKRASS
June 21, 2018, 12:46 PM

A father who pulled his son out of a burning race car faces some minimal discipline for going on to a racetrack during an event.

South Boston (Va.) Speedway put Dean Jones on probation for the rest of the year for violating track policy. Jones, who serves as crew chief for his son Mike, ran to Mike's aid Saturday after a crash in a NASCAR-sanctioned late-model race where the front of the car caught fire and came to rest near the inside wall in Turn 1.

Dean Jones, wearing a T-shirt and shorts, helped his son get out of the car safely. He then reached into the car to pull the trigger to activate the in-car fire suppressant system before safety crews, who had arrived on the scene about seven seconds after the father, took control.

The video of the rescue has gone viral and attracted national attention, but Jones had violated track rules -- most tracks have policies against anyone being on the racing surface during an event.

NASCAR admonished several NASCAR Cup Series crew members in 2015 when they rushed across pit road to help turn over the mangled car of Austin Dillon after a crash at Daytona. The sanctioning body wants to make sure there is a clear path for emergency vehicles to reach the scene and is concerned about danger from cars still circling the track.

"Mr. Jones will not be fined nor suspended," South Boston Speedway said in a statement. "He has been placed on probation through the end of the year.

"We have sat down with Mr. Jones and discussed what transpired on Saturday, and he fully understands our position on non-safety personnel entering the track surface during an event. We are all grateful that there weren't any injuries, and we look forward to getting back to racing."

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