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MESQUITE Race car driver Kevin Ward died of blunt force trauma after getting out of his vehicle at Motor Sports Park in upstate New York on Saturday. He was hit by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.

As police investigate that incident, a racetrack in Mesquite is tightening its rules.

Fans look forward to the high-speed, adrenaline-packed action at Devil's Bowl Speedway every Saturday night. Sprint car driver Martin Edwards says focus is key when he gets behind the wheel for competition especially when visibility is compromised inside the car.

'Knowing exactly where the crash is is something that you don't always know,' Edwards said.

Devil's Bowl Speedway is now re-evaluating rules and implementing changes. Workers said the changes are aimed at preventing another serious or even deadly accident from taking center stage.

'When a driver gets out of the race car, he don't have any safety at all,' said Lanny Ross Edwards, the director of competition at Devil's Bowl Speedway. He said the track's new rules prohibit drivers, pit crews and bystanders from walking onto the racing surface during competition.

The move follows Saturday's accident that killed driver Kevin Ward during a competition in New York.

Rule-breakers will face sanctions. 'We're going to start taking their championship points away from them,' Edwards said. 'They are going to be barred for a week, and removed from the premises immediately.'

Violators of the new racetrack rule also face stiff fines, according to the staff. Edwards said the change is all about safety.

Race car driver Martin Edwards said he's OK with the the new regulations.

'Maybe with a little stiffer penalty, it'll make everybody take a step back and think, 'Hold on a a minute... I need to stay here.'

Edwards believes the new rules will keep teams focused on competition rather than emotion.

Devil's Bowl Speedway says it will begin implementing the new rules during its competition series this Saturday.

E-mail dfernandez@wfaa.com

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