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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Queens NY
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    1,547

    Default NHRA - Do they have their heads up their Asses?

    Am i the only one who thinks that the NHRA is becoming a hack organization when it comes to safety? Erik Medlen, John Force, now Scott Kalitta. All avoidable accidents. Are they doing ANY testing? I would like to hear others opinions. I think they have been stuck in time as far as the nitro classes and safety are concerned. At 300+ MPH all the steel in the world isn't going to keep you alive if you decellerate fast enough. Why hasen't the NHRA been investigating 90's technology to insure driver safely? Something as simple as a remote ignition kill and remote parachute release could have saved Kalitta's life. Maybe a firewall? or an energy absorbing capsule? 330 MPH is well beyond the survivability limits of any human body without something to ease the decelleration.

    What are your opinions?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
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    9,881

    Thumbs up the tec. is available, use it.

    it dose seem like some of the simplest safety options are being over looked. true 300+ MPH is dangerous, but many things can be done to make it safer. maybe the drivers need to push for better track safety. as for remote kill switch and shoot poppers, seems like as a driver i would install it even if its not required. a few saved lives and they would start to notice and make every one fallow. cant be more than 2 Lbs in accessory's to get the job done, i would cary the weight.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,376

    Default

    You want to ride a motorcycle and fight with traffic you pays your money and takes your chances, same for 300 mph cars in what, 6 seconds or less? Seems if a guy wanted it safe he would spend it in the living room working on a heart attack, racing has always been about risk, if it wasn't about pushing the edge what would be the point? Make it totally foolproof and anyone could do it, what fun would that be.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    673

    Unhappy

    There was a pretty big explosion in the car long before the end hit. In the video, I noticed that only the small chute deployed. Why didn't it pull out the big chute?

    Maybe some sort of trap net could be used for catastrophic failures. I broke my leg twice racing motocross; I took my chances. Like Sberry said: 300 mph is pretty fast.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Queens NY
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    Default

    I'm not saying racing should be without risk, thats what gets people into it in the first place. I think the string of 3 accidents in just about 12 months were avoidable. If you look at indy and formula1 (even monster trucks have remote ignition kills) they made the change to more energy asorbing structures long ago. They do actual testing! I'm talking about the fuel classes only. They are too far ahead of their safety technology. It took Eric Medlen's death to get them using Hanns devices. They were Tigging heat treated 4130!! I realize i'm not an insider, but i haven't heard anything confidence inspiring from the drag racing world as far as these losses go.
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  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Laiky View Post
    I'm not saying racing should be without risk, thats what gets people into it in the first place. I think the string of 3 accidents in just about 12 months were avoidable. If you look at indy and formula1 (even monster trucks have remote ignition kills) they made the change to more energy asorbing structures long ago. They do actual testing! I'm talking about the fuel classes only. They are too far ahead of their safety technology. It took Eric Medlen's death to get them using Hanns devices. They were Tigging heat treated 4130!! I realize i'm not an insider, but i haven't heard anything confidence inspiring from the drag racing world as far as these losses go.
    For someone now associated with anyone in the mix you sure missed on every account of things that have happened and things that are currently taking place. Blast panels on the front part of the blower opening helps releif concussion blasts when they light up a motor which is a safty issues NHRA address but hey that can be missed. Darryl Russel lost his life 4-5 plus years ago and Goodyear stepped up and made some changes to the tires. NHRA stepped up and required the teams to run teathers to deploy chutes if the top wing where to be sheared or broken away. NHRA has played around with the rules reguarding NITRO mix. Medlens deal would not have been saved with the use of the HANS device and with the lack of a "black box" to record data it is 100 percent sure what happened. They do now have said black boxes and drivers also wear an ear piece that records data. Force racing has come up with cnc cut foam beadall liners that go in to drivers helmets so they are custom fit to the drivers head rather than off the rake helmets for drivers. They are Tig welded frames that are now going though different stress reliefers with shakers, auto claves and reheat treats but test data is limited.

    Now for Scotts deal this weekend. Several events lead to what happened. FIrst he didnt get knocked out with the motor coming apart cause he made adjustments trying to bring the car to a safe stop after the lid was blown off. His chutes were useless when debris got entangled in them which on such a short run off as Englishtown has was a big factor. The sand trap was wet from rains that had hit the area which didnt help in slowing the car down at 290 plus. As you can imagine wet sand does little to keep a car on the ground. That is how Scotts car became airborn. It is unclear what he hit first. There were scares on trees and on a concrete pole. All the best Hans devices and stress reliefed roll cages and black boxes and multiple chutes and this that and the other dont factor in to mishaps that will happen when a seris of events take effect.

    So please before you make unfounded statements of what NHRA isnt doing maybe it would be better to call the NHRA head office and ask to speak to Bob Blackwell and ask him yourself and he will be more than willing to enlighten you. If you have any ideas let him know or ask for the number to the Eric Medlen project which is doing alot of R an D for everyone at risk.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    539

    Default

    Good answer.

    Unfortunate Race incident, prayers go out to those left behind.
    Tom

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
    Posts
    2,239

    Default

    Par for the course.

    The OP has a habit of expressing his "expert opinion" about a multitude of subjects he knows little or nothing about.

    Truly unfortunate accident which was brought about by a series of events which could not (in all likelihood) be predicted. 300+ MPH leaves little room for error. The drivers know the risks and accept them.

    Our prayers go out to the Kalitta family.

  9. #9

    Default

    Champagne and Sundown, those are great replies. It gets me on the chip when we see all these monday morning quarterback knee-jerk reactions. Someone on another board even seriously suggested an aircraft carrier type aiplane arrester hook! Unreal. The NHRA and others involved with the investigation will come up with a solution, even for the special circumstances at E-Town, which by the way is no where near as short as some seem to suggest(4150' end to end). People think you can just keep hanging devices on these cars, but they don't understand that stopping 2200 lbs is a whole different ballgame versus stopping 2100.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    539

    Default

    One thing / perspective I would like to add.

    While many motor sports sanctioning bodies have put "limits" on the technology to make a better "show for the fans", some sanctioning bodies are still pushing the limits of machine and man. And we like them.

    With that said, pushing the limits, means upper control limits will be exceeded or shattered until a new techno development moves the mark up. The process of hitting, exceeding, development and solution is what I believe is the single redeaming quality of our people.

    Much of our world is afraid to get off the porch and their own shadow. This will be the downfall of our time.

    The cost is high of pushing the limit.

    Inovation can and does come from the darndest places. I think the almighty has quite a sense of humor. Different perspectives are always good. Sometimes irritating, but, in the long run, not a bad thing.

    More than once in the process of solving a problem, someone will point out something that is quite obvious later, if someone notices.

    We are all going to leave, it's just a question of when and how. Me, getting old is attractive. Going doing something I love to do, well, that is right up there with living a full life. Some folks do more living in a fraction of a second than some people do in a whole life.
    Tom

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