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Drivers raise safety concerns after Kurt Busch accident

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INDIANAPOLIS — Kevin Harvick questions how NASCAR prioritizes safety. This year, in light of drivers complaining that they are feeling this year’s impact more intensely, and Kurt Busch’s concussion-like symptoms saw him miss two races in a row. I’m here.

But NASCAR’s Chief Safety Officer said, “We are always looking at ways to improve the situation.”

Some drivers told NBC Sports last month that they felt more impact with their next-gen cars this year than with their predecessors. talked about

“The drivers’ concerns didn’t seem to resonate with a really, really quick response to what they were trying to do.” That’s better,” said Harvick. “It bothers me. Everyone will say they’re working on it.

“I don’t think they understand the extent of that, and I don’t think they understand how bad it can be when you actually hit something. I don’t think anyone really understands the violence that happens, and it just doesn’t seem high enough to me.”

John Patalak, NASCAR’s managing director of safety engineering, told NBC Sports earlier this month that this year’s crash data is similar to years past. Driver admits it, but says he’s more shocked.

Of particular concern is when the car hits a wall. Changes to the rear made some areas stiffer compared to the previous car.

“From the beginning, everyone realized that this car was too stiff,” said Harvick. “When I crashed (actually at Auto Club Speedway), I thought the car was broken and the bumper barely receded. It felt like someone hit you with a hammer.”

Christopher Bell said he had a headache after backing into the wall at the All-Star race at Texas Motor Speedway in May. A second impact on the right side.

“Cars are not off limits,” Patalak told NBC Sports of potential safety improvements. “We are actively looking at ways and we are always looking at how we can make things better. …We are always investigating[the car]and seeing how it performs on the racetrack to see what we can do better.”

Drivers have been more vocal about safety this weekend after Busch’s accident at Pocono. There is Garage’s belief that Bush’s string of impacts this year contributed to his injuries. Denny Hamlin, co-owner of Busch’s car, said that Busch “got a lot of hits over 25 G’s. Your body can only take so much.”

“It’s a shame for Kurt,” said 23XI Racing teammate Bubba Wallace. “You never know what hit can trigger it, right? That just happened to be it. Looking back at the hits in Atlanta, numerically it was the hardest hit of my career, and the next day I was ready to climb back in. Crazy how it works.

Daniel Suarez is confident NASCAR will find a solution for its drivers.

“It’s a little worrying that our friend Kurt Busch’s influence on Pocono has resulted in results like this,” Suarez said. “The implications didn’t seem too difficult, but there are so many talented people working on NASCAR and I am confident they will find answers to our questions.”

Corey LaJoie is a member of the Drivers Advisory Council led by NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton. LaJoie and fellow board member Joey Logano are spearheading the council’s security efforts.

LaJoie told NBC Sports that additional areas under investigation include SAFER barriers, helmets and mouthguard accelerometers.

LaJoie said NASCAR may remove some of the foam behind the SAFER barrier on some tracks, allowing the barrier to hit more and potentially absorb more. says there is NASCAR is also considering several different pads for its helmets, as well as some changes to football helmets, which LaJoie used last week to gather data on how crashes affect drivers. He was one of four drivers to enter the race wearing mouthguard accelerometers.

“It’s easy to say car, car, car, but cars are built for outlier crashes, fairly safe T-bone accidents,” LaJoie told NBC Sports. “It’s safer in almost all areas.

“But the question is, like Kurt did at Pocono, the rear, the transaxle, the reinforced fuel cell are in the current state of this car, how the rear clip is built and it backs up like the car before it. If you go back to the fence the whole rear clip buckles under the rear end housing … you had a foot and a half crash and now you get an 8 inch crash this is energy It makes a big difference in terms of distributing the