Ford’s #4 in Harvik caught fire during last weekend’s race at Darlington Raceway (SC) although there was no collision damage or contact with the wall. Flames erupted from under the sides of the car and entered through the dashboard at one point.
After taking NASCAR audio to task after the accident, NASCAR ordered several changes to the chassis this week that went into effect this weekend at Kansas Speedway.
Harvick said the whole process takes so long which is one reason he left the original driver board.
“Safety can’t be about money. I lived this, man. I watched all this struggle with Adam (Betty) and Kenny Irwin, and it led to Dale Earnhardt (death at Daytona). Then all of a sudden, wearing HANS became mandatory or was wearing Hutchens device is mandatory.”
“We have developed soft walls (safer barriers). It can’t be slow. Safety can’t be slow. This car is screwed up as much as it gets stuck. Whether the data says it or not, every driver in that garage will tell you it’s not right and it hurts.
“Foot hurts, hands hurt, head hurts and there has to be a better solution. NASCAR has been slow to respond and teams are always worried about money and that does nothing for the drivers.”
Earlier this week, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, Scott Miller, noted that NASCAR has been working on the fire issue since its debut on the Indy Road Course earlier this season.
In the aftermath of the fires suffered by Buescher, Logano et al Chase Brisco And the Alex BowmanNASCAR requested the addition of an exhaust cap for the car, which appears to help address the problem.
Harvick’s case in Darlington looked more distinct and additional measures – including the addition of steel plate and fire retardant materials – were added this week.
Harvick suggested when it comes to safety issues, there should be a more independent process in the sport.
“The safety component has to be put into a bucket that has a board or council of some sort that deals with these kinds of issues. When it goes into that safety bucket, NASCAR and the teams won’t have a say in that,” he said.
“I’ve been on both sides of this and that’s why I didn’t stay on the drivers council because things were so slow. As if I’m running it, it’s happening very slowly for me. I think this plays right politically, we have to watch the race, We got a TV contract – whatever that is, it’s still unfair for drivers to get hacked into the car, with the slow reaction we experience and not listen to “every hit hurts”.
“Because every blow hurts.”
The fears of the next generation are not new
Some drivers raised concerns about the car’s safety during its initial test, but last July an independent panel of experts signed off on the car’s safety after the results of a review of crash test data.
The committee consisted of Dr. James Radin, who was involved in the investigation into the death of the late Dale Earnhardt; Jeff Crandall, engineering consultant for the NFL; Dr.. Barry Myers, professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University, and Dr. and Dr. Joel Steitzl, chief of biomedical engineering at Wake Forest Baptist Health.
In addition, NASCAR periodically meets with a group of drivers – a two-hour meeting has taken place over the past week – to discuss safety concerns.
Daniel Suarez, Track House Racing, Highway Insurance Chevrolet Camaro, Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx Cares Toyota Camry, Justin Haley, College Racing, Leaf Filter Protection Chevrolet Camaro and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., GTG Dougherty Racing, Kroger / NOS Chevrolet Camaro, massive shipwreck
Photo: Nigel Kenrad/NKP/ motorsports pictures
“Things have progressed to where we are today but it can’t be slow. It’s not just the rear clip — it’s the front clip, the rear clip, the side — every hit hurts,” Harvick said. “Now, you’re in an emergency because the car doesn’t crash.” correctly.
“I don’t know what the solution is but I know it has to be a lot faster. If I start off the season it’s a whole bunch to try and get it done before (Busch’s) struggle. So where are we going here? What’s the plan?”
“Your data might say they’re the same, but it’s really not the same. When you start looking at it, and I know Denny has talked about this before, you look at how fast the hits are and how fast everything is, I think it’s very clear that it’s not the same The total (forces) might be the same but the speed you get there is completely different.”