BUSCH: NASCAR mandates head and neck restraints

Motorsport.com DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In what turns out to be a major step toward safety, NASCAR announced today, October 17, that drivers in the three major series' will be required to use a head-and-neck restraint effective...

Motorsport.com DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In what turns out to be a major step toward safety, NASCAR announced today, October 17, that drivers in the three major series' will be required to use a head-and-neck restraint effective immediately.

Winston Cup drivers open at Talladega on Friday for practice sessions. Most of the drivers' have either the HANS device or the Hutchens device since the death of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. in February at Daytona.

The HANS device is manufactured by Hubbard/Downing, Inc. Jim Downing is a sports car driver who feels the device is important for the safety of all race car drivers. Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. made the HANS device mandatory for Superspeedway events.

The Hutchens Device is manufactured by Mattec Corporation.

Earlier NASCAR released a statement in which they encouraged the drivers in Winston Cup to wear one of the devices after the recent deaths of drivers in their series' due to basal skull fracture.

The Busch Grand National and Craftsman Truck drivers have some leeway in time as their next race in at Phoenix the weekend of October 26 and 27.

The latest death was not in a NASCAR-sanction event but in an ARCA race on Thursday, October 11th when Blaise Alexander, Jr. suffered fatal head injuries in a two-car last lap accident at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

NASCAR senior vice president, George Pyne, commented about the decision. "NASCAR has worked closely with safety experts, drivers and manufacturers to address issues that led some drivers to feel that these devices might make them less safe. NASCAR's decision making drivers' side windows wider and our educational seminars for drivers have created greater comfort with using these devices."

"The willingness of the manufacturers to work with drivers in addressing potential drawbacks and explaining benefits also has allayed drivers' concerns. We will continue our educational efforts," added Pyne.

See related article Jeff Greenoffers to buy head and neck restrains for Busch series drivers

Motorsport.com DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In a major step toward safety, NASCAR announced October 17 that drivers in its three major series will be required to use a head and neck restraint effective immediately.

Winston Cup drivers open at Talladega on Friday for practice sessions. The Busch Grand National and Craftsman Truck drivers have some time to comply as their next race is at Phoenix the weekend of October 26 and 27.

Most drivers have already chosen to wear either the HANS or the Hutchens head and neck restraint since the death of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. in February at Daytona.

Earlier in the year NASCAR encouraged drivers in Winston Cup to wear one of the devices after recent driver deaths in their series due to basal skull fractures.

The latest racing death believed to be preventable had a restraint device been in place was not in a NASCAR-sanctioned event. Blaise Alexander, Jr. suffered fatal head injuries in a two-car last lap accident in an ARCA race October 11th at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

NASCAR senior vice president George Pyne commented on the decision: "NASCAR has worked closely with safety experts, drivers and manufacturers to address issues that led some drivers to feel that these devices might make them less safe. NASCAR's decision making driver's side windows wider and our educational seminars for drivers have created greater comfort with using these devices."

"The willingness of the manufacturers to work with drivers in addressing potential drawbacks and explaining benefits also has allayed drivers' concerns. We will continue our educational efforts," added Pyne.

The HANS device is manufactured by Hubbard/Downing, Inc. Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. made the HANS device mandatory for superspeedway events in 2001 and will mandate it for all events in 2002. Formula One also uses the HANS.

The Hutchens Device is manufactured by Mattec Corporation, and is the most popular with NASCAR drivers.

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About this article
Series Automotive , NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Blaise Alexander , Jim Downing