Scotty’s Safety Scoop – The Video Edition.
Hey Guys and gals, I thought we would change things up for this article. My wife found this great crash video on YouTube.com. It is a sled test on a dirt sprint car chassis. This is a unique video, because sprint car safety has been long overlooked.
The thing I noticed about the head-on portion of the test, was how well the car did. The energy was dispersed through the whole car, minimizing the amount of involvement to the driver. I was also surprised by the fact that the car was dirt frame, which has far less tubing in it than that of a pavement car. It looked like the car was a front frame section from being put back together.
The scary part of the video was the sled test with the chassis on its side. Simulations like this one should remind us about the wreck the ended Shane Hmeil’s career. After seeing the chassis crush down like this one did, I hope it shows the chassis builders some areas that they need to improve. Seems how most modern day cars are built like this one in the video, all of them should be looking closely. The only other thing I would’ve like to see was the side chassis test done with a wing on the top. To see how much energy the wing absorbs would be interesting.
I hope during the first test you take a moment to look at the drivers head, and how far it’s stretched during impact. Those of you who still don’t believe in head and neck devices should pay attention, cause that’s what you could have to look forward to. A head and neck device can easily turn a career ending wreck into a simple put the car back together and go racing next week situation.
Not that they are, but if they are reading this, I would like to thank the Cape Research Center for doing a test like this one. A sprint car crash test has been long overdue. With this video, it shows drivers, owners, and chassis builders where the gaps are in these cars safetywise. With this information we can build better safer cars to help us keep enjoying this sport.
Another thanks goes to John Godfrey of Spike chassis. Though not perfect, his dirt car held up very well in the head on test. John Godfrey also uses his chassis building skills to build the Dave “the Man of” Steele designed Diablo pavement frames. I feel all of the cars out there today would suffer the same fate as the one in the side impact test. That is just something that needs to be worked out and will come hopefully soon. But, after seeing how the Spike chassis fared out, I would have to definitely consider them for a new car.
I hope you guys and gals enjoyed the video as much as I did. I feel there is a lot of room for improvement, but overall, it was better than I thought it would be. If you have any comments or questions about this or any of my other articles, please email me or the website and we will get you taken care of. If you would like more information about the Spike or Diablo chassis, give Johnny or Dave “The Man of” Steele a call at Steele Performance parts. Dave helped design the Diablo car himself and is a dealer for all Spike Chassis products. He also has all of the other safety equipment we need in stock and ready to ship.
Be sure to keep checking back to FloridaSprintCarFans.com for future safety articles, and all of the latest news and gossip in sprint car racing going on in Florida.
Be Safe and Have Fun!