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In a sport that may never be 100 percent safe, drivers will return to these smaller, off-the-beaten-path tracks. The passion for racing helps overcome any fear of danger _ and some of NASCAR’s top drivers still view sprint car racing as an enjoyable getaway.

Stewart started his career on dirt tracks in Indiana, and he makes select appearances at dirt tracks in addition to his Sprint Cup schedule.

“It’s just something different. I get to race with the best stock car drivers in the world every weekend here for three days a week,” Stewart said. “In the evenings I get to go do something that’s the polar opposite end of the spectrum, and it’s a challenge because it’s the opposite end of the spectrum for us. They’re 910 horsepower cars that weigh 1,400 pounds. It’s probably the best power-to-weight ratio other than a motorcycle.”

Kasey Kahne came through the sprint car ranks, still races when he can and fields several cars through Kasey Kahne Racing.

“As far as our teams go, I talked to all of them yesterday. We do as much as we can with sprint cars, with the safety, with trying to have the best seats just to contain you left, right, shoulders,” he said.

Kahne flew last weekend with Leffler to Pocono Raceway, where Leffler made his only start of the Sprint Cup season. Kahne has said this week how excited Leffler was to have plans to race on multiple nights this week.

“Things still happen. It’s racing,” Kahne said. “It’s basically anything we do, any one of us does each day, it can happen. I just feel for his family and his son.”