Rumors have been spreading in the last few days that the NASCAR Next-Gen Car is a disaster.
There were a lot of posts regarding the Next-Gen car but the one particularly interesting was that of Steve Hmiel, who worked in NASCAR for three decades and the reply by former car owner Bob Leavine. He twitted:
“So painful to watch the development of the new car. The engineers could really use a real world guy to temper some of their ideas. Have seen photos of a wrecked car and hearing rumors of sled tests killing the dummy, the car may be too stiff with too few crush zones.”
So painful to watch the development of the new car. The engineers could really use a real world guy to temper some of their ideas. Have seen photos of a wrecked car and hearing rumors of sled tests killing the dummy, the car may be too stiff with too few crush zones.
— Steve Hmiel (@LisaHmiel) July 8, 2021
The information was backed by Chase Briscoe that the test accidents would be fatal if they occurred in real life.
NASCAR has since responded to such claims with a memo saying that the rumors of the crash dummies were exaggerated.
“Test was completed at Talladega on June 30th using a current spec NG vehicle fitted with a crash dummy and driven by a robot.
“The processing of all that data is well underway, this includes the correlation and re-running of models. The team is also identifying additional cases for crash comparison.
“Preliminary review of the dummy data from the test indicates good and comparable performance when compared to other right frontal dummy data (non-NG). There is still a lot more analysis to be completed and that has started. Worth noting, that through all testing (sled and full vehicle) the dummy itself has functioned nominally.
“All of this data is being packaged up and will be sent to an independent panel made up of experts in the biomechanics/safety field (Dr Raddin, Dr Crandall, Dr Myers, and Dr Stitzel) for their review. We expect this to take roughly one week.
“When all of this is complete, we will set up another review with you guy.”
NASCAR has maintained its high level of driver security since the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001. And this backlash could turn out to be just rumors.