Skip to comments.Talladega delivers another vicious wreck, pitting driver safety vs. fans' wants (incredible crash)
Posted on 10/08/2012 7:12:52 AM PDT by rawhide
TALLADEGA, Ala. If you or I had been involved in a wreck like the one that claimed the cars of Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and more than two dozen other NASCAR drivers on Sunday afternoon, we'd curl up in a fetal position at the thought of going near a car ever again. This was the kind of high-speed, full-throttle, nowhere-to-hide carnage that allows real life to edge its way into your sporting Sunday, forcing you to think, just for a second, that something really bad might just have happened
Fortunately for all concerned, the catastrophic wreck on the last lap of the Good Sam 500 destroyed only acres of sheet metal (and the championship hopes of several drivers). The maelstrom that unfolded behind winner Matt Kenseth was terrifying to observe, yes, but ultimately nothing more than one hell of a show.
In short, it was the perfect NASCAR wreck.
(Excerpt) Read more at sports.yahoo.com ...
Since Dale Sr. was killed, there have been several game changing improvements in car/driver safety:
SAFER barrier (resilient crash wall)
HANS device (head support that prevents the brain stem from disconnecting from the spinal nerve bundle - this is what killed Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin, Earnhardt Sr, Tony Roper and several others)
COT chassis - a standardized chassis with crash crumple zones and more robust roll cage and seat system.
They have achieved a fantastic safety record since these were adopted.
Guess what . . . it's dangerous out there!
Thank goodness for the new head restraints.
Based on the headline I was expecting to fear for someone’s life while watching the wreck, like a car nearly flying into the stands (which will happen one day). And while the number of cars involved was truly impressive, I didn’t think for a moment while watching it that anyone was going to be badly injured. That’s Talledaga... my favorite race track.
The author needs to grow a pair. Or quit fondling them, as the case may be.
Wow, that is one big crash. Thanks for posting the video link.
The developments you listed are all well and good. But this restrictor plate racing is just another disaster waiting to happen. And NASCAR won't change it until someone else gets killed.
Brought to you by Casey Mears. He caused a few scrapes throughout the race.
Tony Stewart's acknowledged fault, wild ride.
That's racing boyz! .
Oddly, Smoke owned up and said it was all HIS fault.
After so many left turns you need a good crash to break up the monotony.
Tony accepted responsibility after the race.
Statement delivered with a sly, self-deprecating grin...funniest line of the day. Tony’s a great guy!
I look at it this way: In the old days, after a crash, the car survived for the most part but the driver was killed. Now, the car disintegrates into a pile of rubble from which a dazed driver emerges relatively unhurt.
Safer and Hans... Great.
COT stinks on ice...
So does green fuel, restrictor plates, and only having half the season available for those of us without cable tv.
Why does it take NASCAR 500 miles and millions of dollars to do what I was doing with my hotwheels when I was 2?
They were racing 4 wide, what could possibly go wrong?
"It's not safe wrecking like that," he said. "It's ridiculous, man. It's bloodthirsty if that's what people want."
The part in bold type (mine) is out of context. Jr. had paused after saying "It's ridiculous, man." and some reporter off camera (Busbee?) interupted with some question like, "Isn't that what the fans want?" (It was hard to hear exactly what was asked)
I'll see if I can find a clip of the interview.
PS....I am NOT a Jr. fan!
The wreck isn’t as nasty as I thought it would be, given all I’ve heard about it. It was wide but not deep, so to speak. Lots of cars involved but nothing horrific happening to any particular one of them. It’s the ones where a lone driver overshoots the turn and plows into something solid that tie my stomach in a knot. This was more like one of those melees they sometimes have on WWF.
Heard Roush say when they load the car for Talladaga he
considers it a write off
Jeff Gordon said he dreads going to the two high banked ones
Amazing no one was killed...that cars wheels in the cockpit
No Junior... We watch for hours just because we hope it is a completely uneventful race.
Racing is dangerous. If it is too dangerous for you... You can always get a job working retail.
I remember hearing a few years back that he dropped some cash installing a gym in his house.
Well, since NASCAR has already stolen SAFER barriers and HANS devices from IndyCar, here’s another “innovation” for them to adopt and claim as their own...
For this season, IndyCar came up with a new aero package for their race at Texas Motor Speedway. The new package reduced downforce sufficiently that drivers actually had to lift for the turns and broke up the pack racing that resulted in the massive wrecks of the IRL era (and the crash at Las Vegas last year that killed Dan Wheldon). This year’s race at Texas was regarded as one of the best that IndyCar has ever run there. The same aero package was also used at Fontana for their season finale.
Maybe NASCAR could reduce the downforce enough that the drivers have to actually DRIVE, as opposed to stand on the throttle and pray the car ahead doesn’t get loose?
And as a side note, regarding HANS devices: I’ve learned from a friend of mine that while it does prevent basilar skull fractures and neck injuries, it puts a driver at a greater risk of closed-head injury.
Actually I thought it was a large but relatively mild wreck compared to what many drivers have experienced.
Rusty Wallace at Talladega
Geoff Bodine NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Crash
Rusty Wallace’s flip at Daytona
Mark martin scary crash-Michigan 400
Bristol Motor Speedway Crash
That one belongs to Stewart.
Mears was just pushing the two car match up that is plate racing now and he couldn't see where Waltrip was aiming them. Waltrip was holding the bottom and they were coming on strong thanks to the run Casey's pushing them was giving them.
Stewart moved to block but that was essentially like walking into the path of an oncoming train. There wasn't going to be any stopping, only crashing.
It was all, Mr. "nobody better block me, I'm tired of being blocked" Tony Stewart who did it all. Let his ego suck on that for a while. As an owner, he understands the dollar damage he caused. Nice job, Tony.
My thought was not to change the aero package but to force the track owners to knock down the banking, particularly at Daytona and Talladega. Make the drivers lift and make them actually RACE again, not get in a line and all run the same speed bunched up together.
While the safety improvements incorporated into the COTS chassis makes them more crash-survivable, they are nearly impossible to egress quickly in an emergency. Nothing will change though until one of the superstars burns up trying to get out after one of these melee's...
HANS was developed by racer Jim Downing and Dr. Bob Hubbard from Mich State. It was first used in sports car racing.
SAFER was developed by the Univ of Nebraska with funding from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. IMS has both Indycar and Nascar races.
The perfect NASCAR crash...final lap,final turn.
“It’s bloodthirsty if that’s what people want.”
Of course that’s what people want. If it weren’t dangerous, far less people would watch.
It is embarrasing sometimes when writers try to find ingeneous ways of expressing simple facts, like cars being totalled.
In this case “acres of sheet metal”. Does the writer have any idea how many cars you would have to destroy to equal “acres” of sheet metal?
Yes ... I just read about that.
Hard to tell what’s really going on out there unless you’re in one of the cars that started it all. Kudos to Smoke for owning up to it. Apparently a bad move on his part.
I was actually expecting to see something like that happen but at the hands of McMurray. He was blocking left and right for a number of laps. Dangerous move on that track.
Everyone going in the same direction at the same speed = not such a big deal.
Now if half of them had been coming from the opposite direction...
Figure 8 Nascar Racing would be excitng too! /s
Yes up to the time of the COT standardized chassis, there was concern that the front structure was too stiff, which is great for vehicle handling but not necessarily crashworthy.
Now that design is standardized.
I’ve seen crashes of 50’s era Indy cars that rolled down the track like a hot dog on its side. When they came (rolled) to a stop it looked like a little suspension work would get them back on the track, but they’d need a new driver.
Shades of George Zimmerman.
Here’s one of them - it’s been sitting on the roof of a local business for 50 yrs, LOL.
I wonder why nobody’s tallking about Kenseth blasting, I believe Biffle, to the infield on the back stretch to stop him from passing.
The only thing lower than a reporter is a politician.
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