Kansas City, Kans. – Kevin HarvickFrustrated with his sense of safety is NASCAR’s “second fiddle”, he spoke Saturday of the need for action.
Harvick’s comments came a week after his car caught fire in the South 500. The rubber inside the car gathered and burned, sending flames across the dashboard. NASCAR reacted to a car safety change this week.
Multiple cars have been hit by fires this year. also, All season drivers have talked about how hard it is to feel the effectswhich raises concerns. Kurt Busch He misses his eighth race in a row this weekend as he continues to recover from a head injury following a crash in Pocono in July.
Harvick was frustrated by last week’s fire He conveyed his feelings to the media center on Saturday in Kansas.
“There has to be better driving in terms of just the whole safety situation, and my path is shorter than most people here,” Harvick said of why he’s being more outspoken. “After all the fire in Darlington – the reaction on Tuesday was violent – but it was too late.
“So we looked at the fire problem and I started looking at how that whole thing went and went down, and you look at the car, and you start asking questions. Why did it all melt? Well, that’s really not 100% fireproof. That’s the paint we applied.” Two months ago after Chase (the Briscoe fire) he was dismissed.Now, this week, it’s all there.
“You have a piece of stainless steel in there. I come back and talk to my guys, and we basically had a car on fire at every test. So it’s not like it was a new problem. We had (Alex Bowmancar) caught fire in Darlington, I think the first race, and so we’ve seen a lot of these cases, and it’s just a really slow reaction.
“I think if the teams were responsible for things like that, and the proper inputs were put in, we would have no more than two fires… for the entire domain because they would have cooperated and weren’t too slow to react.
“The safety thing is really kind of like a second fiddle at the moment. And I don’t think it’s fair to the drivers. I don’t think it’s fair to the drivers, and we can argue all day. But the debate doesn’t really fix anything.
“I think when I look at the car itself, it’s not rear impacts. It’s not front impacts, not side effects. All impacts. No matter what their filtered data says, it’s not how the drivers feel.
“We need a louder voice. When I sat down and thought about it this week, you really need to have more independent groups making decisions about how to get things done and how to move forward with a process outside of NASCAR and teams because NASCAR is slow to respond, teams are always worried about money.” This doesn’t do anything for the drivers.”
NASCAR employs only three people who work in safety and relies on a panel of independent safety experts that includes Jeff Crandall, director of the Center for Applied Biomechanics at the University of Virginia. Barry Myers, Duke University faculty member in biomedical engineering and orthopedics; James Radin, retired USAF, deputy commanding officer of the US Air Force School of Aviation Medicine; and Joel Steitzl, president of Virginia Tech’s School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences at Wake Forest University.
Harvick is the oldest driver to compete in the cup. His Dale Earnhardt Series debut at Richard Childress Racing came a week after Earnhardt’s fatal accident on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Earnhardt’s death followed the deaths of Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin and Tony Roper in 2000.
“I’ve lived this, man,” Harvick said. “I watched when we had all the trouble with Adam and Kenny Irwin, and then it resulted in Dale Earnhardt, and then all of a sudden, wearing HANS was mandatory, wearing Hutchins was mandatory. We developed soft walls.
“(Safety) can’t be slow. Safety can’t be slow and this car is down as much as you hit it. Whether the data says it or not, every driver in this garage will tell you it’s not right. And it hurts. Feet hurt. Hands hurt. . headache.
“There might be a better solution. When we want to solve problems, we can solve them very quickly. This plan wasn’t put together in a day because there weren’t things that weren’t already in place, but it was too slow to be implemented. And now, unfortunately, we are Where we are. The positive result is that there has been a lot of progress being made on a situation that shouldn’t have been there in September.”
Ryan Blaney He said he appreciates Harvick speaking.
“I definitely think someone has to do something about it,” Blaney said on Saturday. “I think Kevin did the right thing by talking about it. I’d be upset too. There are a lot of things that I think need to be changed and improved, from the fires to the drivers’ strokes. Some of those things we talked about in the off-season and never really changed, now look at who we are.” right Now.
“There are always learning difficulties you have to know, you have something new, and it takes time to kind of improve. But some of those things that we’ve known about in the off-season, there hasn’t been a lot of urgency to change some things. So I’m 100% with Kevin to try Address some of these things, and sometimes it takes being dumb to do it.”
When asked where the dialogue with NASCAR was taking place, Harvick looked at a reporter and said, “Here it is. That’s the conversation.”
“I “I think they’re being proactive at the moment,” Hamlin said of NASCAR. “Obviously they made a bunch of changes this week. I think what the drivers and teams are saying is that we shouldn’t be screaming through the media to get that done.
“It doesn’t help anyone and it certainly doesn’t help them, but the evidence is that yelling through the media usually produces results. That’s just kind of the way it was. This is the most powerful tool (Hamlin pointed to his mic) you can get and sometimes you have to. Use it to force change, and I think that’s what Harvick did this week.
“He’s tired of them and says they’ll get to it, they’ll get to it and we’re working on it. Instead, they made an instant change. But we want to see it come after the second fire, the first fire. There were many, many fires before that.”
Hamlin said he feels better about what NASCAR is doing after this week’s talks.
“I definitely feel they are working to help us beat the blows on the chassis,” Hamlin helped. “All of these things take time. They can’t just react unusually and start cutting the bars out of the hull, which is very irresponsible.
“I think they do things in a systematic way to make sure that the next revision of the car that is released is one that has been improved in the areas where we need to improve, but that takes time through design and testing.”