Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday August 5, 2010
In light of Elliott Sadler’s “horrific, almost head-on collision,” as it is being described by NASCAR officials at Pocono last Sunday, one NASCAR insider has announced that airbags will be required in all race cars in 2011.
That “NASCAR insider” has asked to remain anonymous, due to the fact that he/she doesn’t want to get fined by the sanctioning body for speaking the truth.
The crash in question is being marketed by the sport as “The hardest hit in the history of NASCAR.”
“They want to meet with me this weekend to get my story straight,” Sadler said on Tuesday. “But we were told this morning that it was the hardest one they have in their data in history.”
Just how hard was the hit?
“We do not share those numbers, except with the team and the folks at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska,” said NASCAR CEO Brian France in a statement. “But that crash on Sunday was the hardest recorded in the history of the sport since… well, since we started recording such stuff, which has been for, like, at least 7 years I think.”
That means, according to the numbers NASCAR does not share, it was even harder than Kyle Petty’s crash at Bristol in 2003, which NASCAR says was 80 G’s. Presumably, NASCAR defines G’s as forces of gravity, and not how many people agreed and said “Gee, that was a hard hit!”
Many who saw what they thought was a “head on” hit last Sunday have expressed concerns that the track is unsafe, including Sadler.
“This is 2010, not 1970,” said Sadler, who won Saturday’s Truck Series race at Pocono. “We have a lot of knowledge now on SAFER barriers, things the tracks can do to help us in case we’re in a wreck. If you want to be a part of the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide, Trucks you should be held accountable to have the latest and greatest safety stuff available — just like the teams and NASCAR do with the cars.”
Sadler went on to say that he has been assured by NASCAR President, Mike Helton, “that the governing body is working with the track to make that happen.”
“Fixing” the track, however, is not what NASCAR has deemed necessary, as our “inside source,” who we call “Deep Thought” has revealed.
“I was sitting their in the boardroom, listening to Brian France go on about something,” explained Deep Thought. “As I did, I was also doing a few calculations regarding Sunday’s wreck, which can be found HERE.
“As I looked up from my calculations, I focused on Brian’s mouth. Not so much on what he was saying, for I honestly can remember what he was saying, but more on the fact that he was still talking. And then it hit me! Airbags! Airbags in the cars were the answer!”
“I showed Brian and the others my calculations, and they all agreed. If it worked for Ford when I worked there, surely NASCAR could take this opportunity to make them work for us.”
That “opportunity” is this; like the “wing” before and now the spoiler on the CoT, NASCAR will issue each team the approved airbags to be installed in the cars. Essentially, the teams will lease “sets” of them from the sanctioning body and must return any unused airbags after each season. A “set” includes a driver’s side impact airbag, a driver’s frontal airbag, and a passenger frontal airbag.
“These airbags are going to solve more than just a safety issue,” said Deep Thought. “We can set them to go off at varying forces, meaning we (the sanctioning body) can now finally control bump drafting at the plate tracks if the drivers won’t do it themselves.”
When asked if the “leaking” of such detailed calculations and information might ultimately reveal his identity to colleagues at NASCAR, Deep Thought was slightly taken aback.
“Gee! I hadn’t thought of that…” he said.
BSNews! Your first thought is our first name!
Stay off the wall,
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