HOST: Mike King
GUESTS: Lee Fisher, Robert Hubbard
FISHER: Thank you, Mike. Good morning and welcome to the announcement for the announcement of the 2001 Louis Schwitzer Award presented by the Indiana Section of the Society of Automotive Engineers and BorgWarner. This award, now in its 35th year, honors the sprit of Louis Schwitzer, an early racing pioneer who won the first automobile race held at the Speedway in 1909. The award winner receives a $5,000 check from BorgWarner as well as a plaque and garage sign. The winner's name is also added to the Louis Schwitzer Award pedestal on permanent display in the Speedway's Hall of Fame Museum. The past winners of the award, which is presented by engineers to engineers, include Bruce McLaren, Smokey Yunick, who we sadly note the passing of this past week, A.J. Foyt, Jim Hall and Gian Paolo Dallara.
I would now like to recognize the members of the 2001 committee. First, Steve Roby, from BorgWarner Turbo Systems, who could not be with us here today, Pat Wildemann, from Allison Transmissions, Steve Holman from Ricardo, John Williams from Purdue University, Keith Pierson from BorgWarner Cooling Systems, Larry Moore from Cummins Incorporated, which is where I am also employed last time I checked, and Phil Casey, who is the technical director for the IRL, and Les Mactaggart, technical consultant for the IRL, who has another meeting this morning. I would also like to thank Greg Hendricks from BorgWarner and Celia Booher for her contributions.
Our committee had a strong list of candidates for the award this year. Dallara for their 2001 chassis update kit, G Force for their 2001 chassis update kit and suspension modifications, Infiniti for their new Indy 35A engine, Hubbard, Downing for their Head and Neck Safety or HANS Device, and the IRL for their new timing and scoring system, which I would like to note is an incredible advancement over the previous system but which may have just put a few old ladies out of work. However, the winners of the 2001 Louis Schwitzer Award are Bob Hubbard and Jim Downing for the HANS Device.
Obviously with the increased awareness for improving driver safety that we now have, especially since the death of Dale Earnhardt, it may appear that it would have been easy for us to jump on the bandwagon to promote this safety device. However, our committee felt that the HANS Device was truly innovative because it was an original idea that has been improved upon by sound engineering practices and appears to offer a significant improvement in driver safety. With that, let me introduce Bob Hubbard and ask him to give us a few words about the HANS Device.
HUBBARD: "Thanks a lot, Lee. I want to start off by thanking Lee and the committee for giving this award to Jim and I. We're very grateful and for BorgWarner supporting it. I think it's especially poignant for Jim and I because it's an award that's given by engineers to engineers, and we all know that engineers aren't in charge of too many things, and it's sort of fun to get something that engineers do.
Jim Downing, you may know, is a longtime sports car racer and five-time IMSA champion, and there wouldn't be a head-and-neck support without him. He was the fellow that recognized the problem, and I think that was particularly brought into focus when a sports car driver, John Paul Jaqumart, went off the end of the Mid-Ohio racetrack and hit a dirt bank and was killed with a basilar skull fracture. Jim is my brother-in-law, and I pit crewed for him for many years, and my background is one where I think I learned how to read by reading car magazines as a kid. My older brother is a car enthusiast and a mechanical engineer as well.
So, I'm a car guy, and I got interested in biomechanics as I was nearing the completion of my doctoral degree, and I actually studied mechanical properties of skull bone for my doctoral thesis dissertation. At that point, I met a fellow that has become quite prominent in auto racing safety, Dr. John Melvin. He and I actually worked together while I was doing my doctoral thesis research. I went from there, and went to General Motors in the mid 70s and helped develop crash test dummy technology, in particular, the head-on, the crash test dummies. So I was sort of the right guy to recognize, to have Jim recognize the problem. And ...(laugh) I think it's important to realize in the history of auto racing safety that this was quite early. I went ahead and called together some experts again, John Melvin was one of them, with this idea of restraining the head relative to the torso.
In fact, I may as well show you the HANS Device. This is the device. This is the HANS. The idea of it is to have it sit on the torso of the driver and be held to the body by the shoulder harness, and then these little tethers go to the crash helmet. And in a crash, the device slips back on the shoulders, and the tethers restrain the head relative to the torso. It's a fairly, the embodiment of this thing is fairly simply right now, and the concept is actually pretty simple. It's just to keep the head on top of the shoulders, and it's a concept that in my original thinking hasn't really changed much. The shape and size of this thing has been adjusted quite a lot. I explained this idea to these experts a long time ago, and they said I wasn't crazy.
The issue was how to make one of these things usable and comfortable in a driving situation because it's sort of like looking at an airplane how it flies. I mean, I know how airplanes fly due to change in air pressure across the wings and so on, but to something like this on a driver that's held to the body and fits in the race car is not a trivial thing. So every time I see a driver that puts one of these things on and get in a car and drive away reasonably comfortably, I'm still amazed. I wanted to just go through just a brief description of the development of it.
I really got the idea in the early 80s. I filed for a patent in 1985 for a device, which really was not practical. The concepts were there but the physical embodiment of it was still fairly rudimentary and unuseful. But during the late 80s, we did some crash testing at Wayne State, and again for historical perspective it's important to realize that in 1989 when we ran these test at Wayne State University with a crash test dummy and a race car helmet and a HANS Device and a racing seat and a racing harness, that this was the first time it had ever been done in the United States. And that's not that long ago.
It turned out that Mercedes had done some crash testing in Europe in the mid-80s. The results from the testing of the HANS Device were very dramatic, dramatically reduces head accelerations and neck loads which were believed to be the cause of these driver deaths. GM started their safety program in '92, and Ford came along in '93, and they started testing the head and neck support device and in 90 and again had good results. And the other thing that happened was that the car companies began to put instrumentation in the cars so we could better understand the crashes, and then they were studying them afterward and John Melvin and others have been recognized for their safety advancements. John and John Pierce are recipients of the Schwitzer Award. And then Daimler Chrysler, actually Mercedes Motorsports and Daimler Benz at the time, in 1997 got us, we began a cooperation to look at the HANS Device as an alternative to an airbag system that they were developing for Formula 1.
In the 90s, the car companies began to get really involved with racing safety, and I think that the racing safety people will tell you and even the racing directors will tell you that it's not good for anybody to have drivers injured or killed in their cars, and there's also a big payoff for the car companies to better understand injury biomechanics. This mass of technical data was being gathered, and the HANS Device kept consistently performing well against any other option. And there was a collaboration, a cooperation being developed between the car companies both their influence in marketing and public relations and also probably more importantly the technical developments that they were making or could evaluate. Sanctioning body people like Phil (Casey, technical director of the Indy Racing League) and his comrades in other sanctioning bodies technical side and also the medical side have been very important in helping us understand racing injuries.
Of course, for the HANS Device to be used it has to be used by the drivers and the teams. If anybody has ever been involved with a practice before a race or even while they are off at a practice session to get on their clipboard and get on the top of their clipboard is not an easy thing to do. It takes a big commitment for them to decide to become involved with the HANS Device. So the drivers and the teams have been very important. And all this has happened over many, many years. Again, to put this in perspective in the first 10 years of sales of the HANS, we sold about 200 devices. Last year, the year 2000, we sold about 250, and I quite frankly don't know how many orders we've had since Dale Earnhardt died. It had ramped up quite a bit in the fall last year, and we're probably approaching 1,000 orders this year. In fact, the reason why Jim Downing is not here is because he's back in Atlanta making HANS Devices.
On of the things that is, I'm clearly the inventor of the, clearly the inventor of the HANS, but it wouldn't exist without Jim. He came up with the original, the original need. The other thing that happened was that it wasn't a commercial opportunity back when we started making and selling them, and the safety equipment suppliers really couldn't agree to make and sell them because the market hadn't been established yet. So Jim and I started our little company called Hubbard/Downing Inc. and started making and selling these things. So I was very lucky that Jim had a composite shop down in Atlanta that was capable of doing this, and we'd been pretty much soldiering along, he and I together and during, you know, I'm an engineer a professor at Michigan State University, and I'm not really a racer. And Jim is more, certainly is a racer.
But it's been very frustrating and discouraging for us to know that we had a way to help drivers reduce injury and protect, protect them from the most common, a commonly fatal injury there is basilar skull fractures. And it's been a long haul. And this attention we've gotten recently has really been based on the fact that we've had good experiences with drivers the guys that use them, the HANS Device, seem to be quite happy with it. We have continuous, a continuing effort to listen to driver feedback and make sure that we take a complaint and turn it into an opportunity for improving our product, and we've had good experiences with drivers.
To our knowledge no driver, I mean somebody asked how many crashes there have been, and I asked the drivers one time in a meeting, and they just laughed, you know, they said we crash all the time. But we've had no head or neck injuries with a driver wearing a HANS Device, so the word is out. Anybody that's been watching racing has seen some pretty horrendous crashes. So I feel very fortunate. It's not that the HANS Device is going to protect everybody from everything, but it's been, it's got a good record so far, and the tide is turning. We've been working very hard in the various sanctioning bodies to get driver acceptance, and in every case the sanctioning bodies have been quite inviting and encouraging, and it's becoming mandatory in a few series. I can't see any reason why every driver racing a cars and boats that has a shoulder harness on and wears a helmet shouldn't be wearing one of these things, and I think that day will come some day.
The recognition of the Louis Schwitzer Award is very, very poignant and positive for me and Jim. We're very grateful that we're in a position to be recognized, and it can do nothing but help us as we try to pursue this odyssey of making safety improvements. We've been around, we've started before we really had much information about racing safety, and with the support and participation of the car companies and the sanctioning bodies we're getting more and more information. And I feel very, very lucky to be a part of that and getting some recognition for the years of work and frustration and discouragement, it's really turned around. It's hard for me to describe the joy that I feel being, having the success that we're having right now, because we know we're really helping people be safer when they race.
Q: Of the 32 drivers that have qualified for the "500," how many of them, if they all stayed in the field, would start the race wearing a HANS Device?
HUBBARD: Well, you never know whether they wear them, and it's hard to tell when they get in the cars. I would say about half. At my last count we've got about 15 or 16 of the guys here that have them and will probably wear them, and a lot of the drivers won't get in the car with out them now. So, and last year we had one. Steve Knapp was the first guy to wear the current-type device in the race. So hopefully next year we'll have all of them. I don't know, we'll just see and hopefully none of them will need it.
Q: What was the turning point, and name some drivers who began to recognize that they would have to learn to be comfortable in this device?
HUBBARD: Well, number one obviously is Jim Downing. It's interesting. Kyle Petty wore a HANS Device, the original style, in NASCAR some years ago, and he stopped wearing it for various reasons that I'm not sure of. So he was significant. So that was sort of a false start, but it also indicated the problems of driver acceptance in a major series. Probably in, there were other people that come to mind that have used the device, but in recent history I think the efforts the big commitment by the Newman-Haas team in CART, Michael Andretti and Christian Fittapaldi to work with me closely and get a device that would fit in the cars. That was a huge commitment on their part, and we worked for months actually trying to get them comfortable. And all the other drivers in CART have been very cooperative, and I think there was an urgency in CART because of the two deaths they had a couple of years ago that they were very concerned. In IRL, well, we've had, a lot of the, we've worked with a lot of the IRL teams this year, and they all seemed, the ones that are working with us, once you get them to fit it in the car they seem to be quite accepting. I think the Penske team has been very, very important to us and they're of course a cross-over. Those are the drivers that come to mind. I'm probably missing some. I'm at a little bit of a disadvantage because the drivers, I deal with a lot of the drivers on a one-to-one basis at the tracks, but Jim Downing talks to them on the phone everyday every night. I don't think most of them know his cell phone number, which is probably good.
Q: Some drivers are still resisting it. They say they've tried it and it just doesn't fit them. Is it a valid complaint or do they just need to stick with it?
HUBBARD: Yeah, it's a real. I mean it's, it's a composite part that we're pulling down on their shoulders, and if they're not comfortable, they can't wear it, they can't drive. It hurts like the devil, and in fact, like I said before it's amazing that anybody can wear one of these things. Those problems are solvable problems. And it's, as we all know, you don't go anywhere in racing -- particularly at a high level -- unless you're invited. And I've, it's been hard for me to push people, again if you're trying to sell a solution, it's hard to sell the problem, and so that's where the car companies have been so important in having their experts school the drivers.
In fact, Phil Casey and Henry Bock invited John Melvin and I down here about six weeks ago. We had a session that lasted for a couple of hours where he and I talked about the neck support. So the drivers got to want to wear it, and some of the drivers can take a device that we provide that fits other drivers and fits them fine, and we can play with the padding we got to make sure it fits in the car and they can just take it and drive away in it. I fitted one to Roberto Guerrero last week, and he put it on and took off with it.
But there are other drivers that are shaped a little differently or drive, or sit a little differently. So the driver fit problem is a big issue, and that that really has been a continuous listening to the driver working with them making sure it fits in the car and taking those complaints into solvable problems and solving them. All you can do is just keep playing with the device until you get it so they can wear it. And once they wear it they say, 'Oh, yeah, this thing is comfortable -- the only way to go.' And a lot of the drivers once they are comfortable with it, feel better with the device on than without. A lot of them say it holds them in the car better and so on and so, but the driver fit issue is a huge, is a huge issue and I've encouraged the drivers not to be apologetic. Give me you're worst shot, and then we'll take it and absorb it. And most of them haven't said things that I haven't heard before. It's extremely important that we work with them and get them comfortable with the device because they are ultimately the people that have to accept it and use it. They live in a world that we can't understand.
Q: Have you been able to pinpoint a single instance that the HANS Device successfully helped prevent an injury to the neck or head?
HUBBARD: You know, that's an interesting question. And I'll give you some cases. Part of the problem in understanding racing injuries, is that there hasn't been, generally speaking, they haven't been well studied. The exceptions are CART and IRL, and F1 actually.
If you look at the way the CART or the IRL incidents are studied, then we know more about those crashes than any other crash. The medical records the videos, the in-car recorders and the technical experts that are reviewing that data are, give us a basis for understanding what happened in the crash. That is the exception rather than the rule. Other crashes are anecdotal and partial information. I'll point out two crashes.
One of them, the second device that we sold, was to a boat racer named Andy Anderson. And in fact, the guy that sold him the boat paid for half the device, and I asked the boat maker I said, 'Why do you subsidized the thing?' and he said dead drivers are bad customers. He flipped a boat. It was a boat actually up in Michigan, and I remember the phone call the guy, the rescue guy's name was Jim Papin. He said Andy Anderson flipped over, and I had known that in that kind of crash, the boat racers, due to the sudden acceleration and also the water blast, they had routinely been killed. In fact, that safety crew had expected this kid to be dead, and he was actually bleeding from the nose, which is common for basilar skull fractures. It turned out the water blast had pushed the helmet into his face and broken his nose, and he was unconscious because of that. He woke up, and he was fine. So he probably would have been killed.
At the Texas CART race, the Texas CART non-race was supposed to be the first race where it was mandatory in CART to use the HANS Device, and they pulled the plug, and I would say rightly so. In the practice for that race, Mauricio Gugelmin had a very hard hit, frontal 66 g's with a 40-degree, 40-g left-side combination, so it was up 70-75 g frontal hit, and then he went in backward at about 100 and something 130 g's. Mauricio could well have been killed in that crash if he hadn't had a HANS Device on. There are a lot of other crashes where the drivers have gotten injuries. Mauricio's crash is the first crash that I'm aware of where we had a really big frontal hit and he had, he was sore all over. He had some serious chest pain and so on, but no injuries that were attributable to the head or neck support, and the doctors were clearly convinced that injuries were reduced.
Q: Would you like to see all the major sanctioning bodies make the HANS Device mandatory, and do you have any indication that anything like that is on the horizon?
HUBBARD: I don't have any business telling the sanctioning bodies how to run their business. I mean, I think everybody should wear one of these things. I will say that I think it's extremely important that the drivers can wear it, and that means we have to go through a period of familiarization and implementation so we carefully consider all the variations of driver size and fitment in the cockpit and make sure the device is going to be an addition to their safety and they can accept it. They have to decide to use it willingly.
It's not to say that the sanctioning bodies can't encourage use or encourage use by making it mandatory. That's certainly possible. But we have to make sure that the device is acceptable to the drivers, and that's really what I can do and how I can help out. A lot of drivers wear it because they understand it's needed, and probably my best salesmen are other drivers that are talking to these guys they all know each other, and there's a lore of success with the HANS Device. And I must say it's based on the fact that we've been very careful and very conservative. Maybe just careful is the right way to say it about how, what the HANS Device is, and how it's made and so on.
One of the really interesting technical problems that I faced is that there were no requirements for this thing. So what is it and what does it have to do, and it's a fairly significant engineering task to fill that void when you start, when I'm working with other people, we're writing the rules for this new thing. So it takes some time, and I think most inventors think that the world would beat a path to their door if they just built a better mousetrap, but that's not the way it works. Anybody in product design, product development knows that. So we need some time, and I certainly believe that the device is beneficial and should be used by everybody. If I didn't feel that way, I wouldn't be here now. We would've quit a long time ago.
But you have to respect the drivers and the sanctioning bodies for them to come to the decision that they feel best about. And I think, again to put this in perspective, it's only been fairly recently that the car companies studied racing safety and were able to give the sanctioning bodies useful advice.
I'm sure Phil Casey can give a testament to what the technical database has meant to you in terms of head-pad development in the rear-end crash numbers and all those kinds of, and wheel tethers, and all those kinds of things an the continuing saga of the crushable wall. It takes, those are significant engineering problems, and that's only happened in recent years. Quite frankly, Jim and I have wallowed in discouragement for many, many years, and now with increased sales we're beginning to get the resources to really reach out and contact all the different people in all the different sanctioning bodies, so it's common. Long answer, short question.
Another problem we have, it's in quite fact, it's a serious problem that we're addressing as fast as we can, is how do we make these things fast enough and quite frankly inexpensively enough? Most of the racers in this country don't want to pay you know twelve, fifteen hundred dollars, two thousand dollars for a HANS Device. They want to get the price down, and that's not a trivial task to make sure that we can make these things in volume at a low enough price and still have them be, to do the job. So that's another real challenge, and we're working real hard on that one right now. In fact some of the sanctioning bodies aren't going to make it mandatory until we can supply them. It's sort of silly to do. It's chicken-egg thing."
Q: To clarify, it's mandatory in CART on their higher-speed ovals. Do you expect Formula 1 next year to make it mandatory?
HUBBARD: It's supposed to be mandatory in Formula 1 this year, and I think that underlines the need for implementation and I'll take the credit, Jim Downing and I and our people, the credit for getting it used more broadly in this country. It's because we've been out beating the pavement. I can't tell you how many times I've gone home with a sore back from leaning over driver's cockpits. To my knowledge, that level of implementation hasn't occurred in F1 yet. And quite frankly F1 is a different environment. I don't, well, whatever, I don't want to say too much about that. I don't know too much about it, either. On Monday I was at Milwaukee working with Indy Lights guys in CART, and I think they are looking at making it mandatory throughout the whole series, but that again comes through a period of making the drivers comfortable.
Q: You brought up the idea of the crushable wall, what's your opinion on the future of things like that? How soon can we see things like that?
HUBBARD: Well, I preface with saying that I'm not an expert, even though I have got a phd in mechanics, I'm not an expert on crushable walls. The efforts that the sanctioning bodies, the IRL being a leader among them, to make the cars crushable has been very significant in improving driver safety. That's something we know we can do, and we know that it works. Making a crushable wall that heals itself or is quickly replaceable is not a trivial task, and I think the biggest technical challenge is to get, to keep the car from being trapped by the wall. As I understand, a lot of the attempts to get crushable walls is that in having the wall deform to absorb some of the energy, the car it also traps the car and arrests the speed going down the wall and makes the crash worse. That is a very, very difficult and potentially unsolvable problem. We may not see widespread use of crushable walls. I think, and again Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been a leader in looking at that, I know. So it's not a simple problem.
Q: Explain the differences in the way the IRL and CART drivers sit and the more upright position the NASCAR drivers sit and how the device is different to accommodate them?
HUBBARD: It's an interesting question. One of the things that happens in a crash, and I think that's surprising, that was surprising to me and surprising to drivers and was surprising to the committee when we looked at the videos a week ago, is that a reclined driver or a upright driver, their pelvis is restrained first and then their torso rotates almost vertically and then the shoulder harness really starts to work. So that the difference, in a crash, the difference in a reclined driver and a more upright driver is already more vertical to start with. But in a crash their shoulders end up pretty much over their pelvis when the torso is restrained fully.
The same things happens in a reclined driver, he just starts out farther back and that's one of the things that John Melvin learned quite early when he studied the difference in driver recline position is that the more reclined driver actually takes up more distance before his torso is restrained, and it means that there is more dynamic overshot.
It's a more difficult problem in a crash. So that actually the crash dynamics are very, very similar, so the difference in the shape of the HANS Device is that in fact this is the device that's used most commonly in IRL and it's used some in CART. There is another device I actually gave it to Robby Gordon because he needed it, that the collar is tipped forward a bit more and so that this has to fit on their chest and the collar has to be more or less, it doesn't have to be exactly vertical, but it needs to fit between the head pad and the helmet. This is the device that's most commonly used in NASCAR, and the collar is tipped back a bit so the guy can sit up straighter, and there are some other minor differences.
But it's mainly collar orientation, and the nature of the device is such that the collar can be tipped forward a bit more or rearward a bit more in a crash, and it wouldn't make any difference. The crash performance would be virtually the same, but it's really well how do you get a device that will fit on the driver and in the car while they're driving? Some of the drivers, there is a huge diversity of driver position, less so in CART and IRL and in other tub cars. In NASCAR, they are all over the place literally because the cockpit is bigger, so getting the device to fit in the car and fit on the driver comfortably is a big issue, but that's why they are different size and shape. From a crash injury biomechanics perspective, they could all be wearing the same thing.
Q: How much room do you have to play with in open-cockpit racing?
HUBBARD: "Well, with Steve Knapp, who is like 6-4. He's sort of stuffed in there pretty good. The drivers, the cockpits are designed to accommodate a variety of different drivers' sizes, and they move the pedals and the wheel and so around, and most of the drivers try to get their head down as low as they can so they can see over the front of the cowling, and they want to get their head down inside that protective compulsory head pad. So the drivers heads end up in often very similar positions, there is enough room in the cockpit so the bigger drivers many of them still may have half an inch of padding on top of the compulsory head pad, and usually the HANS Device -- the back of the collar -- fits below where the head contacts the head pad. And very often, we'll take away some of that added padding that's on top of that compulsory head pad. Usually there's an inch or 2 or 3 minimum of seat thickness behind their shoulders. Some of the drivers, it's more like 6 inches.
In all cases, the driver, the HANS Device has to fit down on their shoulders, and that means either custom making a seat or trimming the seat that they have so the HANS Device will fit on their shoulders. Otherwise it gets pushed into their back, and they are uncomfortable. It kind of hits them in the spinous processes on their spine or it gets pushed into the back of their head. In most cases, we can do that without having them modify their compulsory head pad. In a few cases, we've actually taken the compulsory head pad, head surround and down where the HANS Device fits, move that back a bit. But the reasoning there is that they are never going to hit their head on that anyway, and it's done on a one-at-a-time basis. We reasoned that through advice again from John Melvin and others, and the experiences we've had and CART where it's more commonly used, but also in IRL, is with head pads modified. That way it doesn't seem to remove any safety that was there already. It seems like the cockpits are compatible with the HANS Device if the people are willing to adjust their head padding a little bit, and get their seat made properly. We're working to understand, now that the HANS Device is behind the neck, the shoulder harness can be moved closer together. So we're beginning to look at how that, whether the shoulder harness mounts need to change. And in most cases, they seem to be OK as they are right now, but that's under review.
Q: Have there been any inroads made for the use of the device in the major sprint car associations like USAC or SCRA?
HUBBARD: Yes. I don't know all the sprint car drivers that use the HANS, but a lot of them do or some of them do. And some of them do because they've been told to wear it like physicians like Terry Trammel that won't let them race without it. Some of those sprint car guys wear the older style that has a bigger collar on it that helps hold their head up sideward. I've had conversation with Mike Devin, who's the technical director for USAC. He's encouraged us to figure out how to make a HANS Device less expensively. The device is being used more broadly, particularly the exposure that we're getting is at the high end, but that's sort of like the iceberg. The guys that we see here on television, there's a few of them. There's tens-of-thousands or hundreds-of-thousands racers that need a HANS Device that costs less than a thousand dollars, that's for sure. And we're working on that real hard. So once we figure out how to make them strong enough and light enough and inexpensively enough that we can get them out to those guys, I think more and more of them will use them, and it's a great problem to have.
HUBBARD: Let me just say before we do that reiterate that I'm extremely grateful to be up here and be receiving this award. It's really very poignant. I'm grateful for the committee for the selection they've made and the support of BorgWarner and the cooperation that we've had from the car companies and the sanctioning bodies and the drivers and the teams after a decade of frustration and wonderment of why this thing hasn't happened. Obviously the tide is turning, I couldn't be happier. It's really an important award. Quite frankly as I read the materials I said, 'Whoa, this is really something.' I was impressed by the accomplishments and the spirits of Louis Schwitzer, and after we had the discussion a week ago they were out trying to start the car that he helped design and built right outside here, and they got that thing going, so I had a real emotional connection to it. So, I'm very, very grateful. Jim Downing is down in Atlanta. He's excited about it, too. He's going to be up here next Friday for the awards dinner, and I just want to really, really thank you guys a lot."