Four dead in nine months. And the latest one is your Senna, your guy who could not die in a race car -- Dale By God Earnhardt, the biggest, baddest star, the most titanic walking mass of charisma NASCAR ever had, and maybe ever will.
Bill France said "someone will come along" to fill the void, as the voids of yore were filled when Fireball Roberts died, and Little Joe Weatherly.
Times are different now, Bill. Vastly different.
Jim France, Bill's younger brother, said Monday, "I credit Dale with saving my brother's life."
When Bill was down with cancer, down and out of heart, Dale Earnhardt flew down in his Learjet and roused the human spirit again.
Don't let him haunt you now, Bill.
Don't leave it so that everywhere you go, for the rest of your life -- and everywhere Jim goes, and your son Brian goes, and your daughter Lesa goes -- the questions will be unrelenting, about four deaths for the same unnecessary reason in the France empire in less than a year.
Give out the message that you are not people who don't care.
I know you do. I've known you all for nearly 27 years, and walked your race tracks and pit roads and garages all those years. I am not some newcomer, criticizing from afar.
I understand that you don't understand what is happening to you. You don't see why you cannot keep your silence, your secrecy, with whatever you are doing or not doing with regard to safety research and development.
Why won't the world leave you alone, let you grieve in peace? Because the world has changed so -- spun away from you.
Civilization largely ignored you for so long -- hick, "redneck," backwoods, downhome, boondocks bloodsport.
But you got what you wished for. Mainstream America has taken notice, network television and all. And you are coming under the scrutiny not only of broader America, but broader civilization.
Society could admire your daring in your quaint years. But if your dying keeps on coming, so relentlessly, civilization will condemn the madness.
Profits are running in the hundreds of millions, sponsorships over a billion.
Give some of that to the right people, and do it openly. Tell the world. Invite the cameras. Show you care.
Dr. John Melvin, the brilliant bio-mechanical engineer, has labored in obscurity for auto racing safety for the better part of 30 years -- first at the University of Michigan, then at General Motors, now at Wayne State University, where he is the guru of all the world's racing safety revolution.
Network television is beating down the door of Dr. Robert Hubbard, inventor of the HANS, at Michigan State University. He has taught in both the medical and engineering schools there. He is no fly-by-night inventor. He knows what he is doing.
Will you let the network cameras and the national publications see those innovators alone -- without you there?
You held a huge news conference Monday at Daytona International Speedway, and you showed your sadness and spoke kind words. But you still evaded issues, and left an appalling sense of status quo.
You cannot go on this way.