The racing team has come a long way...
Posted by ei2Aevai on January 1st, 2021
More important to the sport of racing has been the arrival of the safety team. Team development has generally followed technological development and tragedies. For example, after the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001 on the last lap of a Daytona race, the National Stock Car Racing Association reviewed the massive deceleration of G-Force that the driver experiences when crashing. The technology for SAFER barriers existed prior to this development and was proposed by Smokey Yunik in the 1970s. However, due to cost and lack of public interest in the move, NASCAR did not move to install the barriers until after the Earnhardt tragedy. Although perhaps the most visible, this was by far the only development since the sport's early days.
Much of the racing team has been modified from the original days of the sport. Drivers have received elaborate cages and seats made of carbon fiber that can absorb and disperse more force than previous aluminum seats. They're also lighter, which is a serious consideration when planning to hit speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. The seats have been developed to surround the driver, especially around the bed box, where sudden impacts can be fatal. The Head and Neck Shoulder device has eliminated the possibility of breaking your neck from a sudden deceleration by stabilizing your neck with the rest of the seat. The helmet is attached to both sides of the back of the shoulder harness, which looks a bit like a backplate that rises from a soccer player's cheek pads. The shoulder harnesses also help disperse core torso impacts over the shoulders, which can absorb more than the soft tissue in the torso. When advances in seat composition are combined with the integration of the HANS system and the ubiquitous use of roll cages within the car's frame, multi-point seat belts, NASCAR units remain in their seats and are even well protected. of the most horrendous crashes. An example of this is in 2008, during qualifying laps, Michael McDowell hit some dried oil from a previous accident and hit the SAFER barrier and rolled and flipped several times. After the crash that left his car completely decimated, McDowell was able to pull out of the crash and drive away with only minor injuries.
In addition to the advancement of personal driver protection, which is the ultimate goal of all safety equipment, certain developments have made the car less likely to be destroyed. The most obvious is the application of a restrictive plate to the air intake that prevents the car from exceeding certain speeds. One of the less obvious pieces of racing gear was the invention of roof flaps that recess during normal use. These fins attempt to counteract the reverse air foiling that occurs when a car is moving through the air. The aerodynamics of NASCAR vehicles force downward pressure when driving normally on the highway, however when the car is lifted and can easily roll over and the downward pressure is converted to upward pressure, causing the car to fly through a time. Roof flaps were invented to unfold when the aerofoil is inverted. These fins create enough drag to minimize the chance of the car creating a vertical lift, instead the car will just roll. Rolling is preferable to gaining altitude away from the track because the roll cage absorbs and mitigates impacts better than the sudden impact of hitting the pavement after receiving 15 feet of air at 150 miles per hour.
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Joined: May 8th, 2020
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