Drivers raised safety concerns after the Kurt Bosch accident

Indianapolis – Kevin Harvick You wonder how much NASCAR is prioritizing safety in light of drivers’ complaints about feeling stronger impacts this year and Kurt Busch He lost his second race in a row due to concussion-like symptoms.

But NASCAR’s chief safety officer says, “We’re always looking for ways to improve things.”

Some drivers told NBC Sports last month that they felt stronger effects this year With the next generation car compared to the previous car. More drivers spoke about the matter Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Concerns that drivers didn’t seem to resonate with a really quick response try to do it Harvick said. “This is worrying. I know everyone will tell you that they are working on it.

“I don’t think they understand how much that happens, and in fact how bad it can be when you hit things. … I don’t think anyone really understands, except for drivers who hit something, the violence that comes in the car. It doesn’t seem to be a high priority with what enough for me.”

NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Hilton told NBC Sports Sunday morning, “We’re going to make a safe race car. We’re going to make a car that runs well in a race. Lots of people have got us involved in this next-generation car. We’re halfway or better through the season.” We’ve had some accidents with her.

“We’ve had a lot of testing with it. I don’t know if I agree with some of the assessments of it from a drivers perspective. There’s a lot of novelty with this car that takes a while to get used to, but we wouldn’t have an unsafe car on the track.”

John Patalak, managing director of safety engineering at NASCAR, told NBC Sports earlier this month that this year’s collision data looks similar to past years. Drivers acknowledge this but say they feel the effects more.

A particular concern is when the car returns to the wall. Changes made to the rear have stiffened some areas compared to the previous car.

“From the beginning, everyone could see that this car was very solid,” Harvick said. “When you crashed (in practically Auto Club Speedway), I thought the car had been wrecked and could barely support the bumper. It felt like someone had hit you with a hammer.”

Christopher Bell He said he was having a headache after he slid into a wall at the All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway in May. Bush also bounced into a wall in Pocono before his car broke down and caused a second crash on the right side.

“The car is not off-limits,” Patalak told NBC Sports about the potential safety improvements. “We are actively looking for roads, always looking for ways to improve things. We just shared with the drivers some of our simulation work that we did for rear effects, looking at the chassis. … We are always investigating (the car), looking at how it performs on a track Race and see what we can do better.”

Drivers became more vocal this weekend about safety after the Boch crash in Pocono. There is a belief in the garage that a series of influences this year by Bush contributed to his injury. Denny HamlinBusch’s car co-owner said Busch “has taken a lot of hits over the course of 25 Gs. The body can only take so much.”

“Just unfortunately for Kurt,” 23XI Racing teammate Bubba Wallace He said. “You never know what hit it could take, right? It happens to be that person. I look back at my hit in Atlanta, the numbers were the hardest hit of my career and I was ready to go up again the next day. Crazy how it works.”

Daniel Suarez He remains confident NASCAR will find solutions for drivers.

“It’s a little troubling that the impact our friend Kurt Bosch had on the Pocono had this kind of result,” Suarez said. “The effect didn’t seem that difficult, but NASCAR has a very large group of smart people working on it, and I’m sure they will find answers to the questions we have.”

Corey Lagoy Member of the Drivers Advisory Board chaired by NBC Sports Analyst Jeff Burton. LaJoie and Joey Loganoa fellow board member, leads the board’s safety efforts.

LaJoie told NBC Sports that among the additional areas being checked are the SAFER Fender, helmets and Mouthguard accelerometers.

LaJoie said NASCAR may remove some pieces of the foam behind the SAFER bulkhead on some trails to allow the bulkhead to give off more and possibly absorb more impact. NASCAR is also looking at some of the different bushings in helmets, similar to some of the changes that have been made to football helmets. LaJoie was among four drivers who raced last week with a mouthguard accelerometer, which is used to collect data on how the collision affects the driver.

“It’s easy to point to the car, the car, the car, but the car is designed for outdoor accidents, a T-bone wreck where it’s much safer,” Lajoie told NBC Sports. “It’s much safer in almost every area.

“But the problem is when you put a car like the Kurt in the Pocono, the rear, the transmission, the way it is, the boosted fuel cell the way it is now in this car and how the rear clamp is created, the previous car is back in the fence and the whole rear clamp will clamp under the housing Back end…. you had a foot and a half crush, and now you get eight inches of crush and that’s a huge difference in energy dispersal.”

Mike Hembrey contributed to this story