Safety News 2002 Page


  • Burton Wants Safety Changes: Jeff Burton hasn't always had a spotter in the spotters' stand when he's practicing his Cup and BGN cars, but he will from now on. And he thinks NASCAR should require everyone else to do the same. "I think mandating that is a good idea," Burton said Friday after qualifying second for Saturday's Little Trees 300 BGN race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Most teams have spotters in place during practices, but there currently is no NASCAR rule requiring that. Spotters most often work from the tops of teams' transporters in the garage area in practices. Teams must have a spotter in the spotters' stand during a race. The spotting role has become an issue this week after Wednesday's crash during an ARCA. Burton said he thinks requiring spotters be in the spotters' stand for each practice is only part of what should be done to help prevent similar accidents. He supports the installation of more and brighter warning lights in turns so drivers will be more likely to see them when they indicate trouble on the track. He also thinks NASCAR cars should have onboard warning lights, similar to ones used in the IRL and other series, that come on when the track's lights are activated. He also believes NASCAR should begin penalizing drivers who attempt to make passes while racing back to the yellow flag. NASCAR encourages drivers to adhere to a "gentleman's agreement" not to race back to the flag, but has no rule preventing it. "The same thing that happened here the other night could happen on Sunday," Burton said of the ARCA incident. "This gentleman's agreement crap is just that, it's crap. There is no gentleman's agreement. People race back to the line. You'll be racing for sixth and a guy will beat you to the line with 50 laps to go. It only takes two or three people to screw it up. That's generally what happens. There are two or three people out there who don't give a damn. They'll pass you no matter what. I think NASCAR should step in and stay enough is enough. If they catch you racing back to the flag they should penalize you five laps I don't think it should be a gentleman's agreement. I think it ought to be a rule. If they don't make a rule, we'll never do the right thing. You're competitiveness overrides your brain. It puts you and your competitors in situations you don't need to be in."(

  • Safety Maven Brian Butler Earns Bobby Isaac Memorial Award: Brian Butler, founder and president of ButlerBuilt Motorsports Equipment, will receive the Bobby Isaac Memorial Award during pre-race ceremonies for the Oct. 13 UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Bobby Isaac Memorial Award is presented annually by Lowe's Motor Speedway to an individual or group in recognition of outstanding contribution to short-track racing. Isaac, one of the sport's outstanding racers, was well known for his short-track exploits and commitment. Involved in motorsports for 37 years, Butler has worked as a fabricator, crew member and chassis builder. He also spent several years driving drag racing machines, midgets and late model stock cars. Butler opened Concord, N.C.-based ButlerBuilt Motorsports Equipment in 1985 and has spent the past 17 years designing and developing racing seats and other cockpit-related safety items for all levels of motorsports. Butler's latest innovations include new seat bottoms and stronger head, shoulder and leg supports which have contributed to the design and development of the ButlerBuilt Advantage seat. Previous winners of the Bobby Isaac Award include journalists Chris Economaki and Tom Higgins; promoters Hugh Deery, Henry Furr and John Moose; drivers Jack Ingram and Harry Gant; and World of Outlaws founder Ted Johnson.(LMS PR)(10-8-2002)

  • Safety Requirements on pit road: NASCAR could require all personnel who work on pit road during races to wear fire suits, protective gear currently required for pit crew members who go over the wall and service race cars, spokeswoman Danielle Frye confirmed Sunday. The move is one of many being considered by the sanctioning body to address the safety of race team members and fans in the garage area and pit road.(

  • Simpson back with a new company: Safety guru and innovator, Bill Simpson, has formed a new company, Impact Racing, that will focus mainly on the NHRA with helmets and restraints. Simpson had a one-year non-compete clause in his contract with Simpson Racing Products, a company he started and bears his name. Simpson still owns 25% of the company. Simpson said no changes in the lawsuit against NASCAR and there has been no attempt to settle.(ESPN2's RPM2Night show) ALSO see columns today about Simpson at: St Petersburg Times - Bill Simpson is glad to be back and from the Indianapolis Star - Simpson refuses to back down in battle with NASCAR.(8-21-2002)

  • Humpy Praises NASCAR's Safety Efforts: After watching two intense days of testing through his office window at Lowe's Motor Speedway, President and General Manager H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler says he is impressed with NASCAR's efforts to improve safety and on-track competition. "I applaud NASCAR in their testing for a bigger and better car," said Wheeler after spending time in the garage area while NASCAR and Goodyear officials worked with six different teams testing tires and larger "greenhouse areas" on NASCAR Winston Cup cars. "What they are doing is exactly what their new research and development team was established to do." Wheeler added that changing the car is a bold and difficult task for the sanctioning body. "NASCAR is tackling one of the more difficult tasks in sport. It would equate to the NFL changing the shape of the football," Wheeler said following two days of testing this week at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. "The objective is to enhance safety while improving competition. In the past, stock car racing development has been evolutionary, but now with in-depth planning, it's more proactive." With Managing Director of Competition Gary Nelson on hand, NASCAR officials utilized a two-day Goodyear tire test at the track to do some testing of their own. Using 2003 versions of three car makes - Dodge, Ford and Pontiac - NASCAR gathered data on new, larger driver compartments, commonly referred to as greenhouse areas. Officials hope the greenhouse areas will improve driver safety and on-track aerodynamics. Drivers participating in NASCAR's portion of the test included Jimmy Spencer in his Target Dodge, Todd Bodine in his Discover Ford and Johnny Benson in his Vavoline Pontiac. Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Ricky Craven conducted tire tests for Goodyear. Driver feedback was not as positive as NASCAR had hoped, but Nelson wasn't discouraged. "We test to find solutions," said Nelson. "What we would like to accomplish is an equally as stable car or more stable car with the bigger driver's compartment. We're just not there yet. We tested a bigger greenhouse car at Kansas City and we learned a lot," said Spencer. "We thought everything was working out really well. However, when we got out on the track here with three cars running together, it was worse than we thought it would be. "Our push is actually worse with this configuration than the current aero push we have now. Plus, the cars were unstable. So is it the tire? Is it taking away too much downforce? We don't know, but we're not going to stop working to find out." Wheeler said he understands the delicate balance NASCAR and the drivers are seeking. "The acute problem is coming up with a car that most of the drivers and crew guys like, but the different driving styles make that more difficult," Wheeler commented. "While safety is the first priority, eliminating the aero push, which makes passing so difficult, is a big concern. This aero push requires resolving a lot of complexities including body profiles, springs, shocks and tires. I think NASCAR made some progress this week, and I'm sure they'll continue pushing for solutions."(LMS PR)(8-10-2002)

  • Escape Hatch? #18-Bobby Labonte said the Gibbs team has a solution for getting drivers out of tight-fitting stock cars: Put an escape hatch in the roof, much like drag racing's Funny Cars have.(Indianapolis Star)(8-3-2002)

  • NASCAR changes safety strategy: NASCAR's top safety official said his critics are looking the wrong way when it comes to protecting stock car drivers in racing accidents. Instead of making the 3,400-pound stock cars more energy-absorptive, Gary Nelson said NASCAR is trying to make the cars stiffer. Rather than reworking the rigid front bumpers of the cars, NASCAR is focusing on maximizing the efficiency of the right door area. And in lieu of concentrating on how the car reacts to an impact with a wall, NASCAR is committed to making the walls softer.(See full story at the Indianapolis Star and a story at The Gazette (Colorado Springs): Putting safety first - So far, NASCAR sanctions working(7-26-2002)

  • Safety Issue at Tracks? NASCAR and Daytona officials will have to look very carefully this week at the safety operations at the track, because Saturday's performance was not the finest hour for safety men, who left Brett Bodine's fiery wreckage to burn to the ground and who couldn't even find Dale Jarrett until he had already walked halfway back to the Winston Cup garage. It was an angry Jarrett who waved off the ambulance that finally reached him while he was well down the frontstretch, away from the crash site. It's a good thing those two guys weren't seriously injured. If NASCAR is going to continue running races at Daytona and Talladega that inevitably lead to mammoth wrecks, the sanctioning body should ensure that those tracks have adequate and trained safety personnel. AND NASCAR and Daytona executives will have to assess this week the ugly finish to Saturday's race, when a number of fans in the second turn grandstands rained debris on the track while the cars were still running the final laps under caution. A number of drivers returned to the garage with cars dented by the flying debris. While the track's perimeter security posts were well-manned, with men inspecting bags and car trunks, it is unclear just how many security people were working the grandstands. That dangerous deluge of cans and apparently some bottles during the final miles will certainly be a hot topic inside NASCAR headquarters here this week. Some drivers were outraged by the most irate spectators in the final moments. Others were angry too, but were still so shocked they didn't know quite what to make of it, or quite what to say.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-8-2002)

  • Drivers Push Safety In Campaign: On playgrounds and ballfields nationwide, kids are imitating Kobe's latest circus shot and Nomar's latest laser to first from his knees, deep in the hole. But when fans imitate their favorite NASCAR drivers, things can get messy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) enlisted NASCAR drivers' help -- among them Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Terry Labonte -- in their recent campaign lauding seatbelt usage. "The best drivers in the world -- on a track with the other best drivers in the world -- still need to protect themselves," said Rae Tyson, a spokesman for NHTSA. "I would hope that's a positive message. And from the standpoint of getting out a safety message, you can't overlook NASCAR."(ESPN via Insider Racing)(5-12-2002)

  • Petty likes new seat: Kyle Petty was sold on the composite seat designed by PPI Motorsports long before he learned the hard way just how effective it would be when he needed it the most. Petty used the seat while testing during the offseason and began using it in competition beginning at Daytona. But in the Subway 400 at Rockingham, it was put to the test when he was caught up in a multi–car crash. “Somebody asked me on Tuesday (after the race) if I was sore and I said, ‘From (what)? You’re going to have to give me a little information. What should I be sore from?’” Petty said March 1. “And they said, ‘The wreck on Sunday.’ I wasn’t sore at all.” That’s the intention of the seat, of course, but the results thrilled Petty. “It really amazed me that the week had gone by and my neck wasn’t sore. It hasn’t been sore from my HANS for a while, and the seat was phenomenal,” Petty added. So far, Petty and PPI Motorsports’ Ricky Craven are the only two drivers using the seat, which was approved by NASCAR during the offseason. One driver who plans on giving the seat a try is John Andretti, who has a background in Indy cars where he used a seat similar to the one designed by PPI.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read)(3-7-2002)

  • Pit Road Safety: NASCAR's Jim Hunter said yesterday that the sanctioning body has begun a major study of the Winston Cup tour's 24 pit roads with an eye toward making changes to improve safety for over-the-wall crews. "We're going to be all over this," Hunter said. "I don't think there is anything we wouldn't look at and really analyze. And the more proactive we can be, the better off we'll be." The current pit-road debate comes after an incident at Rockingham in which David Bryant, a front-tire carrier for Rick Hendrick's Jimmie Johnson team, was seriously injured when hit by Mark Martin. Bryant's leg was broken, and he underwent surgery to have it pinned back together. He's expected to be sidelined at least three months. Pit road on the stock-car tour has become a major battleground, as difficult as it is at most tracks to pass. Even some of the most fierce of the over-the-wall crews are looking over their shoulders these days. Kevin Hamlin, the crew chief for Kevin Harvick, said that larger pits are a solution: "The drivers do their best to try to miss these guys, but at some of the tracks where the pit stalls are a little smaller and pit road is a little narrower, it becomes another hazard. Hunter said some things are going to change on Winston Cup pit roads, although he's not sure what. "We're in the process right now of analyzing exactly where we might be able to make some improvements," Hunter said. "There are two areas we're focused on: One is the size of the pit stalls themselves. To do that we're assessing the range of sizes at tracks on the tour, from the smallest, like Bristol and Martinsville, to the biggest, which is actually Vegas and California. And then we'll develop a plan of action to get to the end result, whatever that might be. Two is to review the pit procedures as they apply to pit stops. And there is the possibility - maybe not the probability, but the possibility - of coming up with different procedures for different tracks. That's on the drawing board. We'll be talking to the tracks individually, and most track owners, when we ask them to do something for safety, they've been pretty cooperative."(in part from the Winston Salem Journal)(3-6-2002)

  • New Seat Belt Requirements: NASCAR announced today additional seat belt restraint system safety requirements for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series that becomes effective Thursday, March 7. In addition to each vehicle already being equipped with a NASCAR-approved seat belt restraint system and installed in accordance with the directions provided by system manufacturers, the new mandates provide a supplement to the installation requirements for stock cars. (NASCAR PR)(3-5-2002)
    AND NASCAR late Tuesday issued a technical bulletin adopting a series of new safety requirements for occupant restraint systems used in its Winston Cup series. The bulletin outlines several new guidelines regarding the placement and mounting of seat belts and shoulder harnesses in stock cars. The guidelines take effect on Thursday, in time for this weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As part of a series of safety initiatives NASCAR said it would undertake in light of its exhaustive report issued in August on the death of seven-time series champion Dale Earnhardt, a study on occupant restraint systems was commissioned by Drs. John Melvin and James Raddin. Melvin is one of the world's leading experts on head and neck restraints. Raddin is a member of the Earnhardt report's investigative team and heads Biodynamic Research Corp. in San Antonio. "These new requirements are a direct result of the occupant restraint study announced last August to research the hardware, webbing and mounting of seat belt systems," NASCAR President Mike Helton said in a statement released with the technical bulletin. The new guidelines mandate the use of at least one of two latching systems for seat belts, either a latch/lever or cam lock. Their use will provide a common connection among the lap belts, shoulder harnesses and anti-submarine belts. Other guidelines focus on the webbing of the belts, an area the Earnhardt report dealt with in great detail. Earnhardt died in a last-lap wreck at the 2001 Daytona 500. The report said a separated left lap belt - likely caused by "dumping" - contributed to his death. Dumping occurs when seat belt webbing is pulled or moved significantly to one side of the metal adjustment device through which the webbing is threaded. Following the release of the Earnhardt report, NASCAR worked to educate car owners, crew members and drivers and seat belt manufacturers about the problem of "dumping."(

  • Simpson vs NASCAR suit moved: Bill Simpson's defamation lawsuit against NASCAR has been moved from a Marion County, Ind., superior court to federal court. As expected, NASCAR asked for the change because the case involves parties from two different states. The suit was moved earlier this week to U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, in Indianapolis. Bob Horn, an attorney for Simpson, said he will not object to the move. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker, who is presiding over the Bridgestone/Firestone tire product-liability cases. Attorney Robert Johnstone of Barnes & Thornburg in Indianapolis will represent NASCAR.(Daytona Beach News Journal).(2-23-2002)

  • Air Bag in NASCAR? UPDATE: Autoliv, an automotive safety corporation that sponsored Mike Wallace's #33 Chevy for Daytona, is working on an air-bag system that could be ready for use in Winston Cup cars by next season.(USA Today)(2-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Although some racing people believe it is overly ambitious, Trevor Ashline is already working to put air bags in race cars. Ashline and Autoliv are working on a side-impact air bag that would prevent the type of injury that has sidelined Steve Park since last September. "I believe I could have one ready for testing in a Winston Cup car by the end of this year," Ashline said. Ashline is a consultant for Autoliv, the Swedish company that makes and tests safety equipment for passenger cars.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(2-20-2002)

  • AutoRacing1: Speed, Safety and Earnhardt Part 3 - Earnhardt by Pete McCole(2-17-2002)

  • AutoRacing1: Speed, Safety & Earnhardt - Part 2 by Pete McCole(2-16-2002)

  • Black Boxes: Starting this week, every car that competes in a NASCAR touring series race must be equipped with a ''black box'' that records information in the event of a crash. The box, which costs $499, is battery-powered and mounted on the car's frame near the driver's left hip. The box records various data in the event of an impact. That information will be used by NASCAR technicians to try to design safer race cars.(Tennessean)
    AND Called The Witness, it is NASCAR's first data recorder. The unit is slightly smaller than a VCR tape at 7 inches long, 3 1/2 inches wide and a half-inch tall. Designed to be waterproof and able to withstand temperatures of nearly 300 degrees, the data recorder is a self-contained unit designed to handle all kinds of crashes. It will record force, direction and magnitude of each crash. A series of sensors inside the unit can accurately record the angle of impact, date, time, G-forces expended. The sensors can measure the roll, pitch and yaw of the car as it expends the energy of a sudden impact. The sensors record the forward, sideways and up-and-down acceleration profile. By understanding all the forces inside the car, engineers will be better able to make changes based on well-founded principles, not best guesses. The data recorders remain in the car throughout all practice sessions, time trials and the main event. They provide information even when the car is parked. However, the devices are designed to allow only engineers, using specific times and dates, to access the recorder's data. NASCAR already has been crashing cars in sled-tests to create a foundation for their research. The rest of their information will be compiled from future crashes.(Florida Times Union)
    AND II NASCAR's new safety team swarmed over the damaged Winston Cup cars following the practice crash on Tuesday (7 cars involved). Director of Research and Development Joe Garone said the team was taking the data recorder boxes and trying to gather information for NASCAR's developing database. Officials pulled the boxes from all the cars involved and replaced them with new ones. He was unsure how long it would take NASCAR to analyze data from the boxes.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-13-2002)

  • Florida Times Union: New think tank studying safety by Don Coble(2-12-2002)

  • Medcial Staff Announced: NASCAR announced the appointment of a safety analyst and three medical liaisons in full-time positions, beginning with the upcoming 2002 season. Jerry Kaproth, a retired Minnesota State Patrol district commander, has been named as the safety analyst. Kaproth's responsibilities will include investigating the results of race incidents and aiding NASCAR's engineering group with accident reconstruction. He possesses extensive professional experience in vehicle accident investigation and reconstruction from his 20-year career with the Minnesota State Patrol (1977-97). Most recently, he served as an accident reconstruction specialist for his own company, Kaproth Consulting, since retiring from the state patrol. Kaproth also has served as a teacher in Accident Reconstruction at the University of North Florida, Institute of Police Technology and Management, from 1985-2000 and Central Missouri State University in 1984. Kaproth, of Woodbury, MN, will work at NASCAR.s new Research and Development Center in Conover, NC.
    Robin Morrisey, Denese Meeks and Lance Davin were appointed as medical liaisons, and each will be assigned to one of NASCAR's national series - NASCAR Winston Cup Series; NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division; and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The role of the medical liaison will be to gather and maintain detailed medical histories of the drivers and coordinate medical services with the track, drivers, crew members and local hospitals. The liaison's interfacing among the involved groups will enhance overall communication among the different parties.
    Morrisey, of San Diego, CA, will be responsible for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. She brings eight years of nursing experience, the most recent being a nurse practitioner the past two years at the Heart Failure Clinic at Pomerado Hospital in San Diego. She also has served as a staff nurse (1994-98) and a clinical research nurse (1998-2001) during her nursing career. Morrisey, a 1993 graduate of Bowling Green University, added a master's degree in nursing from the University of San Diego last year.
    Meeks, of Deltona, FL, will work with the NASCAR Busch Series after more than a decade in nursing and health care management. She most recently served as the quality management nurse for Humana, Inc. in Ormond Beach, FL. At Humana, her responsibilities involved 10 primary-care physician.s offices, which encompassed more than 8,000 members. She previously served in a management capacity as well with Gambro Healthcare in Volusia County.
    Davin, of Chapel Hill, NC, possesses 18 years of nursing experience and will be assigned to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Davin, a registered nurse and certified nurse operating room (CNOR), arrives from the University of North Carolina Hospital in Chapel Hill where he served as a nurse education clinician for the surgical services division.(NASCAR PR)(2-7-2002)

  • Safety changes at small raceways not on fast track by Ames Alexander and Liz Chandler(2-3-2002)

  • Simpson to return? Bill Simpson retired from the racing products company that bears his name last summer, when the controversy over the separated lap belt found in the wreckage of Dale Earnhardt's fatal accident was at its height. But according to driver Rusty Wallace, a friend of Simpson's, the safety pioneer might be ready to get back in the game. "He's ramping up a little bit right now to get back in business," Wallace said. "I'm pleading with him to get back in business. He was really mad at the world for a long time. I know he's one of the experts out there. I expect Bill in another four or five months to come out with a new line of safety equipment, uniforms, helmets, shoes and the whole thing. As soon as that happens, I'm putting it right on." Simpson's company manufactured the belt that separated in Earnhardt's crash, setting off a debate over whether the belt was installed improperly or failed on its own. He earned a degree of vindication over the offseason, when NASCAR mandated that all belts must be installed according to manufacturer's instructions. "The thing that really killed him is that one of his best friends was Dale Earnhardt," Wallace said. "And he was taking all that wrath with people telling him his product was bad, and it wasn't. He and Dale drank beer together and hung out together. They loved each other. He wore everything Simpson had."(Charleston Post and Courier)(1-27-2002)

  • Safety Update: NASCAR's new research and development operation, which grew out of safety concerns raised by crashes in which four of its drivers have been killed over the past two seasons, has already outgrown its original home in Conover, NC. The operation, being led by former Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson who now is NASCAR's managing director of competition, will move this year to a larger building near the Concord Regional Airport. The Concord facility, which NASCAR is under contract to purchase, began as a shop for a new Winston Cup operation that never got off the ground. NASCAR also has an agreement to buy several acres of land surrounding the facility for expansion. Safety issues were the primary topic as Pyne, Nelson and other senior officials from stock-car racing's sanctioning body met with reporters on the UAW-GM Motorsports Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway on Wednesday. Pyne said NASCAR has hired a full-time crash investigator and established a process for investigating on-track incidents. Vehicles racing in NASCAR's top three national series, the Winston Cup, Grand National and Truck series, must carry crash data recorders this year. A medical board has also been appointed to draw up standards for medical facilities at tracks where NASCAR's national touring series compete. Three medical liaisons have been hired to see that these standards are being met as well as to coordinate care along with local medical personnel hired by the tracks in the event drivers are injured. NASCAR has approved the use of a new driver's seat developed by PPI Motorsports that incorporates composite materials to make the seat stronger, and is working along with other seat companies to develop stronger seats made of aluminum. Studies of the restraint systems used in NASCAR race vehicles continue, and Pyne said it is "highly likely" that more rules modifications in that area will be forthcoming early in the 2002 season. John Darby, the former competition director in the Grand National series, has replaced Nelson in that role for the Winston Cup series, allowing Nelson more time to work on issues regarding safety and competition through the new R&D operation. Once the Concord facility is open, it will have its own machine shop as well as the capability to do tests on full-size and scale model cars and on computer simulations. NASCAR also is continuing work on energy-absorbing materials for walls and on developing design and construction elements for race vehicles to make them safer, Pyne and Nelson said. A test of an energy-absorbing barrier is set for Friday, in fact, and safety expert Dr. John Melvin met with Winston Cup drivers testing in Daytona on Tuesday to provide them with updates on the latest developments in the area of safety.(That's Racin')(1-17-2002)

  • NASCAR Chooses a Black Box: The Witness, a black box made by a Salt Lake City company, was selected by NASCAR to record all crash data this season as the sport continues its push for improved safety measures. Independent Witness Inc. will provide the incident data recorders, commonly referred to as black boxes, that will be installed in all cars competing in NASCAR-sanctioned events. The model selected is called "The Witness" and it is intended to help officials understand what happens during a wreck.(That's Racin'/AP)(1-17-2002)

  • Seats Approved: NASCAR has approved the use of the PPI composite seat. In years past, only seats comprised of aluminum materials have been approved for use.(NASCAR PR)(1-7-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has just given the OK for the new composite driver's seat that Cal Wells [PPI] and Jeff Burton (actually Burton was not involved in the composite seat but a separate seat project, and aluminum seat) have been working on. Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte are expected to have the seats in their cars when they test here next week. NASCAR told teams last month they could brings cars here for testing with those seats, but no one here this week has one installed yet. Jeff Gordon, who is looking at a new, safer steering wheel, said that he'll stick with his standard aluminum seat for the time being(Winston Salem Journal)(1-9-2002)

  • Safety Meeting: Winston Cup Series director John Darby said NASCAR held a safety update meeting Tuesday morning at Daytona International Speedway with most of the drivers participating in the test session. Dr. John Melvin, who consults NASCAR on safety issues, conducted the meeting. A similar safety update will be held with the Winston Cup drivers at the Jan. 14-16 test here. Darby said the NASCAR medical director and crash investigator positions, newly created this season, have not been filled.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-9-2002)

  • IMPROVING SAFETY STEP-BY-STEP NASCAR officials provided the following list of 52 safety-related rule changes the organization has implemented since 1994:
    1. Researched, developed and mandated roof flaps.
    2. Increased thickness of the fuel cell.
    3. Mandated that fuel cell be of one-piece construction.
    4. Mandated thicker construction of upper and lower A-frame control arms.
    5. Mandated center windshield bar from "halo" bar to back of dash.
    6. Mandated vertical door bars between horizontal bars.
    7. Mandated side rails on Craftsman Trucks.
    8. Changed installation procedure of oil system
    . 9. Mandated location of oil system.
    10. Mandated maximum size of oil system.
    11. Eliminated quick-disconnect fittings for oil system.
    12. Eliminated quick-disconnect fittings for fuel lines.
    13. Eliminated quick-disconnect fittings for brake lines.
    14. Mandated auxiliary on/off switches on steering wheel.
    15. Mandated throttle stops on carburetors.
    16. Mandated wire suspension system for carburetor boosters.
    17. Increased size of drive shaft.
    18. Mandated minimum thickness of read axle housing.
    19. Mandated minimum lug nut thickness.
    20. Mandated date of manufacture be stamped in frames.
    21. Standardized location of shock absorbers.
    22. Mandated cable restraints on hoods.
    23. Mandated cable restraints on deck lids.
    24. Mandated cable restraints on spindles.
    25. Eliminated floating calipers in brakes.
    26. Mandated four-rail, steel-ball fuel check valve.
    27. Standardized construction of frames.
    28. Standardized and increased size of wheel hubs.
    29. Instituted random testing of wheels.
    30. Mandated minimum wheel weight.
    31. Mandated polycarbon windshields.
    32. Doubled retention standard of windshields.
    33. Mandated spoiler angles are selected tracks.
    34. Relocated centerline roof bar.
    35. Standardized and increased distances for certain roll bars.
    36. Added leg extension padding in seats.
    37. Mandated location of main on/off switch to middle of dash.
    38. Mandated 1/2-gallon radiator overflow.
    39. Talladega and Daytona shock and spring rules.
    40. Mandated 3/4-inch U-bolt on rear-end housing.
    41. Increased size and thickness of truck trailing arms.
    42. Mandated thickness of hood-pin posts.
    43. Mandated solid steel hood-pin posts.
    44. Changed and standardized where and how weight can be added to cars.
    45. Eliminated rear window tint.
    46. Mandated bracing inside rear window.
    47. Increased size of rear bumper support.
    48. Increased distance between frame and back of fuel cell.
    49. Raised height and standardized location of "halo" bar from frame.
    50. Increased the thickness in fuel cell carriage.
    51. Mandated fire-resistant shifter boots.
    52. Mandated quick-release latch on window net.
    (Atlanta Journal Constitution)(3-10-2001)

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