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Kurt Busch's concussion raises questions about next-generation safety

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To Bob Pocclas
FOX Sports NASCAR Writer

Long pound, pen. — — Kurt Busch Missed NASCAR Cup series race sunday Pocono Raceway I was suffering from concussion-like symptoms after a crash in Saturday’s qualifying.

A driver who misses a race due to a concussion is nothing new in the race (or many other professional sports). However, this was the first major driver injury on NASCAR’s new next-generation car.

The question raised by the Bush accident is whether there are still issues that need to be fixed in next-generation vehicles. One injury doesn’t mean something is wrong, but it justifies some scrutiny.

“There are always concerns,” said Denny Hamlin, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing and co-owns a 23XI racing car driven by Bush. “I think it’s the first time I’ve had someone sit down for that reason. [this year]..

“Especially in the case of rear impact, NASCAR usually doesn’t hit the back and hurt the driver. You need to look at the driver and understand what you have to do to improve it.”

A NASCAR spokesman said the sanctions agency has performed more safety tests on this vehicle than any previous vehicle. With more crashes this year than last year, NASCAR is providing more data to give the car confidence.

Bush’s hit wasn’t the best when it came to G-Force (NASCAR probably classifies it as a “medium” hit), but the car moved around quickly after the rear hit the wall.

“It’s a race,” said Joe Gibbs Racing crew chief Chris Gabehart. “These are heavy cars. They go very fast. It’s a lot of energy to dissipate. There are always concerns.

“This sport is a dangerous sport. It will always be a dangerous sport. NASCAR and all racing teams sometimes do a good job of disguising it.”

Drivers say some of this year’s hits seem to be much harder than previous year’s hits.

“These cars hit harder than ever.” Joey Logano said after two hard crashes last month. “They are very solid. Yeah, it hurts.”

Corey LaJoie states that the car is designed to handle the worst impacts on the driver’s seat, which further damages what was previously a relatively routine collision.

NASCAR collects large amounts of data after a crash, thanks to the “black box” of every car. All cup cars are equipped with a small, driver-focused high-speed camera that records when the car spins, allowing NASCAR to watch a video of how much the driver moved in the event of an accident. .. The sanctions body publishes the data to the team, but not.

NASCAR is in the process of collecting more data. At Pocono, seven drivers wore mouthpieces designed to record information in the event of a collision. Four drivers (NASCAR didn’t name them) wore them for the race.

NASCAR’s concussion protocol required the drive to go to a medical center after the crash, and Pocono’s doctor wanted to reassess Bush on Sunday morning following the crash on Saturday. After his evaluation, Bush was not allowed to compete in the race.

“NASCAR has done a great job of prioritizing driver health over competition. I respect the decisions they make,” Bush said in a statement. “Due to yesterday’s impact on qualifying, symptoms like concussion still remain.

“Tests show that I’m still recovering.”

Hamlin said he wants Bush to miss only Poconorace. He will need to see his doctor to get permission for an event in Indianapolis this week.

“I’m sure the cart will come back [next week]”When it comes to hits, he had a tough year,” Hamlin said. [This one] Definitely didn’t help.

“He wanted to be there for the team. That was important to him. He wanted to be a team player, but he could only do what he could physically do.”

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The idea was out in the mouth

NASCAR disqualified Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing Cars (1st and 2nd Pocono finishers) because they weren’t allowed on the front fascia (car nose) material. Sanctions body.

If it was a tough call, NASCAR probably wouldn’t disqualify the top two finishers of the race. Even if it’s all the boundaries, it’s hard to imagine NASCAR taking a tough attitude in the outcome of a cup race.

Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch disqualified after Pocono race

A quick idea: NASCAR must have thought that the JGR violation was terrible in order to disqualify the top two cars in Pocono on Sunday.

The material in question was either an overt disregard for the rule, a general thing the team thought was okay, or a misunderstanding of the rule. It may become clearer later this week as part of a possible proceeding.

NASCAR said it will have strict control over next-generation vehicles. This is clearly proof of that.

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Today’s stats

The last cup winner to be disqualified was Wilson Speedway on April 17, 1960, when Emanual Zelvaquez won, but was disqualified from an oversized gas tank and Joe Weatherly won.

They said it

“If I had been racing smarter two months ago, I would have had plenty of time from Turn 1.” — — Rothschild stain After a quarrel on the track with Denny Hamlin

Bob Pocclas has spent decades covering motorsport, including the last 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports in 2019 following his mission on ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene Magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @Bob Popclas.. Looking for more NASCAR content? Sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Popklas!


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    23XI racing 23XI racing
    Joe Gibbs Racing Joe Gibbs Racing

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