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Discussion Starter #1
I was talking with a friend moments ago and we started talking about SFI specs. Who does the information come from and who is incharge of making the calls on what needs to be done to make it better? What degree do these guys who give the input have? Are they a bunch of backyard chassis builders who decide what will make things better and safer? What kind of testing do these guys do to make calls for us to make us safer? Will SFI be held responsible for making a call and forcing a racer to change something costs him his life? I'm looking very closely at Dan Bills car. Had that been the drivers side he would have died the same death our friend Steve Grebeck did!! Is a car that weighs 3200# running 180 MPH more dangerous than a 2900# car running 200 MPH? The chassis keep getting more and more gusets.. So many that the human body is starting to take the impact rather than the car. Is dying of internal injuries a better way out? NASCAR puts their cars through crash testing. They get a team together and try to make things better. They make changes and test it.. I have never heard of this done with Drag Racing and SFI.. So where do they come up with these guidelines to build a chassis from? Your thought...
 

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Monty Mikho said:
I'm looking very closely at Dan Bills car. Had that been the drivers side he would have died the same death our friend Steve Grebeck did!! ...
1- GODSPEED STEVE...


2- Something has to be done before we loose another.......SFI needs to LQQK into what nascar does with its testing and make our sport alot more.... SAFE. :|
 

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No such thing as a safe racecar Monty. It's a subjective term. Also, who's to make the judgement that we have put enough saftey into the car? When is enough, enough?

Racing is risky. Be very carefull what you're asking for from SFI. Thanks, but no thanks. 'I' will make the judgement on what is safe enough for ME. That way I am responsible for the decision. I have no desire for any body to keep deciding what is and isn't safe enough for me.

If we keep asking for more saftey, it won't be long before this is all done... we'll price ourselves right out of this if we haven't already. A typical 8.50 car is LIGHT YEARS more safe than it was 15 years ago. Yet.... we are still driving further ahead to safer cars. Some folks might say that's not a bad thing.... well, I guess it depends on what, and how we are making things safer. If we're talking better clothing, and head protection, fine. But if we keep pouring more into these cars there just won't be ANYONE who can afford to take advantage of the saftey rules...

If you want saftey, stay home and lock your doors. If you dare to venture out into the cruel world, put all the padding you can muster around your body, a big giant helmet, and drive a tank to work. You'll be plenty safe in that. Or will you????
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Chris you missed the point. SFI gives us guidelines to build a car to. You can probably go out on you own and build a safer car. But it will not pass the SFI spec and you will be forced to stay home. Chromoly is a harder material than mild steel is. Kind of like carbide compared to coldroll steel. The tubes on chromoly cars are breaking rather than bending.
 

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You should also see what Phil at FLP thinks happened.

DERTY said:
Phil, can you give us the scoop on what happened during the run? I heard that the throttle stuck, brakes were locked up and the car hit the opening of the wall where the saftey barrier / entrance was. Just curious as to what had transpired.
Phil at FLP said:
Were not exactly sure what happened. The throttle some how got stuck we think the linkage go hung up on something on the firewall possibly when it came off the line it twisted something but we arent sure. Dan thinks that one of two things happened when he shut down the motor it could have unloaded the tires and we didnt have enough wing on the car so when the back end raised up it went sideways. The other thing might be that the vacuum pump may have sucked out so much when the motor was decelerating that it filled up the resevior overflowed the resevior and got oil in front of the right tire. Dan says he saw alittle oil on the side of the car and the motor isnt leaking any. He is going to look at the BS3 logs tonight and that might lead us to if it was the vacuum pump or not. What ever caused the car to go to the right it hit a break in the safety wall for the short turn off thats what cut the car almost in half. The short turn off should have been blocked off once the Renegade cars started running since no one was using that turn off but I guess maybe next time they will know better.

Heres a video of the run its hard to see at the end but you get the idea. Unfortunately once he passed through the traps alot of us were so happy for the 202 mph we didnt realize he had crashed at first.

https://www.flp2win.com/picture_library/videoofrun1.mpg
I don't think any chassis design would sustain what Dan underwent. It's the functional equivalent of a 45 MPH offset barrier crash that the auto industry has to perform. In Dan's case the car probably repeated that test at 150+ mph. The wall sliced through his car like a razor blade. You can add 50,000 gussets to try to sustain a offset crash with an open barrier. Or the NHRA/IHRA should close off all the short exit run off areas. Any time a section of reinforced concrete has an edge exposed, anything that hits it is going to get crushed.
 

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Correct Monty. I was getting at this a while ago with the "NEW" chassis certs. Also, these "FAST" street cars that do see limited duty on the street are "rumoured" to be cracking, where the mild steel cars are flexing. UMMMMM 8)
 

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I agree with Chris,does making us buy new belts every 2 years make us safer??? NO thats a load and everyone knows it...the thing i see is the problem is not how Dan hit the wall its why was that wall OPEN?? Didn't Blaine Johnson die so we could have those Blaine gates protecting the openings??? Heard there making a Safe Bomb... isnt it still a BOMB?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Todays stock street cars are a lot safer than yesterdays cars which were made of thicker material. Today almost every car is constructed on a unibody frame. This frame absorbs the crash rather than the human body. This has saved lives. Thinner material and a body what takes an impact saves more lives than yesterdays over built frames did. No the answer is not a unibody race car. But I believe that chromoly is a material we should take another look at. Mild steel is a lot more elastic than chromoly.. meaning it will bend rather than break.. Anyone who knows that happened to Steve knows why bending of metal is a lot more important than breaking of metal..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
purple66bu said:
I agree with Chris,does making us buy new belts every 2 years make us safer??? NO thats a load and everyone knows it...the thing i see is the problem is not how Dan hit the wall its why was that wall OPEN?? Didn't Blaine Johnson die so we could have those Blaine gates protecting the openings??? Heard there making a Safe Bomb... isnt it still a BOMB?
Im talking strickly chassis here. The belt thing is a little crazy... along with a few others. The things Im trying to get at is.. You call SFI and they send you a spec. You need to follow that spec and use the material they list if you want to race at that speed or ET. I want to know what have they done to know what needs to be done? Why can't we use mild steel anymore? I can't think of one crash that a chromoly chassis would have done better on.. but I can think of a few where mild steel would have done better.. Doesn't NASCAR still use mild steel? Hmmm I wonder why? If moly is the way to go they should change.. they have the R&D to back this up...
 

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Monty what was that fellows name that died in Bowling Green back in ooohhh... 1998? Craig something. White 2nd gen camaro. Wasn't that a mild steel chassis? It came apart pretty bad.... and they were saying back then if it had been CM, the outcome would have been different.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
BTW that speculation was made by the same people writting these specs.. What degree do they have to make this call? What testing do they have to back it up with? Why is NASCAR still using mild steel with all their testing in place??
 

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Monty Mikho said:
purple66bu said:
I agree with Chris,does making us buy new belts every 2 years make us safer??? NO thats a load and everyone knows it...the thing i see is the problem is not how Dan hit the wall its why was that wall OPEN?? Didn't Blaine Johnson die so we could have those Blaine gates protecting the openings??? Heard there making a Safe Bomb... isnt it still a BOMB?
Im talking strickly chassis here. The belt thing is a little crazy... along with a few others. The things Im trying to get at is.. You call SFI and they send you a spec. You need to follow that spec and use the material they list if you want to race at that speed or ET. I want to know what have they done to know what needs to be done? Why can't we use mild steel anymore? I can't think of one crash that a chromoly chassis would have done better on.. but I can think of a few where mild steel would have done better.. Doesn't NASCAR still use mild steel? Hmmm I wonder why? If moly is the way to go they should change.. they have the R&D to back this up...
This may be splitting hairs but Nascar stuff has to weigh 3400 lbs so the weight thing is out the door. Now having said that, I still think the mild steel thing has some merit. I think the biggest problem is the concern for where the steel comes from i.e. quality. 4130N is a standard that is easier to follow because of how stringent the standard is.
I've often wondered about the bend vs break issue, and the statement that heavier cars are more dangerous. I still sometimes think I'd rather crash a car and have it actually absorb impact, as opposed to hitting something and having it bounce off and transfer all the energy to the driver. It would be interesting to see some crash tests but that would get way expensive, and who's gonna pay for that?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
No real reason to reinvent the wheel here. Maybe a few friendly calls to NASCAR would help save some lives... Either that or open the rules on chassis certs to let us build what we feel is safe for us!!!
 

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i do believe that since i got back into drag racing the cars and rules (nhra)have made the cars safer in case of a crash.
the limiting factor in my opinion is not the car or roll cage its the human body. we are not built to be twisted and thrashed around like in what is happening in a high speed accident. we cant take it. the human spine does not like to be twisted and bent and guess what "we" break not the car.
like chris said their isnt no such thing as a safe race car "period" i dont want any quareentines from anyone tell me i am going to be safe in case of a crash, cause i know no one car make a promise like that.
it aint the cars breaking its us who break. :D
 

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Monty Mikho said:
No real reason to reinvent the wheel here. Maybe a few friendly calls to NASCAR would help save some lives... Either that or open the rules on chassis certs to let us build what we feel is safe for us!!!

I didn't know anyone died this weekend!! :roll: Matter of fact, Bills didn't even get a scratch. Same for JR and Pat Topolinski at the same race.... neither injured, both terrible crashes.
 
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