Dunh dunh DUNH. The Fire Department threw out an interesting statistic during a community meeting about NASCAR on Staten Island: Somehow, they calculated that an average of six people die during NASCAR weekend. The Staten Island Advance reports, "The deaths are put down to such causes as heart attacks, fires, injuries and auto accidents in and around the tracks." Does this count for deaths in a thirty mile radius of the tracks, because that does sound really high. The calculations did include the race weekend leading up to the race, so who knows how many incidents occur during those (heart attacks, etc). The track manager at International Speedway Corp., which owns the land where the tracks would be built, said, "I think their 'six' needs some more in-depth research, because I wouldn't lay claim to that at all. The last time I heard of a death was the year I left Michigan, so June of 2005 there was a death, and what happened was that guy had a heart attack late at night."
A lingering issue for the Fire Department is how NASCAR traffic would affect the FDNY's ability to respond to fires and emergencies. "It's an aspect of this track that hasn't been discussed, and that is: The demand on essential services," said City Councilman James Oddo (R-Mid-Island/Brooklyn), whose district would house the track. He staunchly opposes the raceway plan. City Councilman James Oddo said, "We already know that we need additional services. When you inject 95,000 more people on Staten Island, there's a drain on those already insufficient police and fire services."
The City Council will decide on the track, which has been the source of some nasty discussions already, next year.