Underwear and socks have become a hot topic within NASCAR due to updated safety rules that will be implemented this year. NASCAR will now require drivers to wear SFI or FIA-rated fire-resistant head socks or helmet skirts, underwear, and socks. In the past, fire-resistant material for those garments was only recommended. At the moment, there is no word on how NASCAR will go about checking for the newly required fire-resistant garments before races.
NASCAR is following other racing organizations by requiring fire-resistant underwear. Last year, Formula One implemented jewelry and underwear checks for drivers prior to each race in order to meet International Sporting Code standards.
The new equipment requirements aren't the only change NASCAR is making in an attempt to better protect its drivers. In a notable move for 2023, NASCAR is covering the cost for teams to make initial safety enhancements to the Next Gen cars.
Back in October, NASCAR confirmed that it sent technical updates to teams for the Next Gen cars in hopes that the changes would improve the crumple zone behind drivers. NASCAR hopes that will reduce the impact absorbed by drivers in rear collisions.
At the time, Rick Hendrick even said driver safety is the top priority, even if that means incurring more costs in the future.
"Our drivers are so important, we don't want them hurt," said Hendrick. "So if it meant buying all new clips Monday morning, I'd do it. I'd be happy to do it. We want them safe."