Sports

Dale Earnhardt’s Death In Racing Crash Led To Nascar’s Car Of Tomorrow

Dale Ernhardt died instantly from head injuries in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500. Dale Earnhardt’s racecar had slid into the wall while being rammed by another stock car racer a half mile from the finish line in the last turn of the 500 mile race on the 2.5 mile Daytona International Speedway.

Dale Ernhardt had been running hard in fourth place when he just touched another car at 180 miles-per-hour and was turned into the wall while another driver was unable to avoid running into the number 3 on the passenger side of the stockcar racer.

Dale Ernhardt had won the Daytona 500 in 1998 after going end-over-end in the backstretch at the end of the 1997 race. Dale Earnhardt was an aggressive driver and was known for bumping other drivers so he could get by them at the triple-digit-speeds on the high-banked track at Daytona International Speedway. To avoid crashing of the computer software, the gaming websites should be legal. The legality of the gaming sites can be verified at 먹튀검.

Three other NASCAR drivers had lost their lives during races in 2001. Dale Earnhardt’s death though, was the greatest shock to his millions of fans and to the executives of NASCAR who were concerned about the effects of increasing speeds and the fragility of the racecars on the future of the sport.

Dale Earnhardt’s death during the premiere race of the NASCAR season has created a new emphasis on driver and racetrack safety in NASCAR’S executive offices, requiring strict seatbelt inspections and led to NASCAR Research and Development’s design and fabrication of the Car of Tomorrow which will incorporate safety innovations that have been developed in the ensuing six years since Dale Ernhardt’s race fatality.

There was an investigation concerning the seatbelt supplied by the Simpson equipment company but there was no conclusive evidence of equipment failure in the death of Dale Ernhardt. Hundreds of American companies supply NASCAR car builders, many of them located in the new motor city area of California as Simpson is.

NASCAR Research and Development set out to design and build a safer racecar, that would enable more teams to be competitive by costing less to build the specialized cars for the various tracks. The shortest track is the Bristol Motor Speedway at 0.533 of a mile. Lowe’s Motor Speedway is 1.5 miles, the Michigan International Speedway is 2 miles and Daytona Intrnational Speedway is two-and-half miles in length. With racecars costing up to $125,000 to build some team owners were concerned about the costs of building and maintaining fifteen different cars over the course of a season. The Car of Tomorrow will be a more universal vehicle with only a few components altered in design for the different speeds and equipment requirements of the different tracks, and easily replaced by the team’s mechanics.

The driver is at center of NASCAR Research and Developments effort to build a safer racecar. The driver’s rollcage which has been moved back and the seat itself is more centered in the car to protect him during an impact and the driver’s side door bars are reinforced with steel plate. The rollcage structure is two inches taller and four inches wider.

The exhaust system is channeled away from the driver who in the past sustained blisters from the excessive heat, heat which also contributes to driver fatigue over the course of a 500 mile race and can cause that one lapse in concentration that causes races to be lost.

The fuel cell will be 17.5 gallons instead of the current 22, making pit stops even more important to race strategy.

Areodynamic Changes to the Car of Tomorrow

In the past design consideration was given to making racecars more areodynamic, that is to present less surface area that offers resistance to the airflow over the car, enabling speeds to increase into the triple digits over the years. With the advent of the Car of Tomorrow a sort of reverse engineering has taken place to limit the racecars top speed, for safetys sake.

The previous era’s NASCARs had windshields that were raked to streamline the racecar, the Car of tomorrow will have one that is more upright, as will the headlights, more similular to the street versions of the racing namesakes and creating more resistance to the air flowing over the front of the car, slowing it.

The design less favorable to high speed areodynamics will make the racecars less sensitive to the air mass created by the other cars in the pack at high speed also which makes it hard to pass other cars.

The grills will be altered to look more uniform across all the car makes that participate on NASCAR, the actual air intake will be located under the front bumper, which has also been redesigned to create more air resistance.

The sum total of all the changes in areodynamic design philosophy will create racecars that look alike across all the brands competing. Chevrolet’s Impala SS will return to NASCAR as will the Dodge Avenger racing against the Ford Fusion and the new manufacturer on the NASCAR Circuit, Toyota with it’s top selling Camry entering the shootouts.

How will the fans react to racecars that pretty much look alike? How will the Toyota Camry’s be received as it’s seven teams journey from the superspeedway to the shorttracks? Are the questions to be answered in NASCAR’s America.

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Liam
Liam Rubin is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Cambodia. He is currently the managing editor of T3 Licensing and a freelance writer.