NASCAR drivers are cracking HANS Devices

NASCAR is downplaying the cracks found in Kyle Busch and Casey Mears' HANS devices after wrecks at Talladega Superspeedway.

Busch's head-and-neck restraint was cracked in a spectacular crash Saturday, and NASCAR officials inspected the HANS before sending it back to the manufacturer for a review.

Then came word Friday that Casey Mears' device also cracked when he hit the wall hard on Sunday. Initially unaware of that crack, NASCAR has since taken possession of the HANS and also is sending it back.

Mears said the crack in his HANS was in the centre and appeared as if the left strap had been tugged too hard.

''In a hit like that it probably should have (cracked),'' he said. ''It didn't crack hard enough where it wouldn't have done its job. It just cracked enough where you wouldn't feel good about using it again.'' AP Story

Jimmie Johnson: “We do know it was cracked. I cracked one at Indianapolis, and I think Casey Mears cracked one with the impact he had as well. And looking at the crack and talking it over with (crew chief) Chad Knaus, granted we want to fix it so it doesn’t crack, but it didn’t fail, and on top of that the seat belt comes over top of the Hans and it is secured and locked down to your shoulder harness on each side, so even if the Hans Device is cracked in the back, as long as the seat belts are over the Hans Device, it’s going to control the head movement and do its job. I still think that regardless of the crack that the Hans Device was doing its job and would have been able to take effect in impact if it needed to."

''It's actually something that happens more often than you hear about,'' said four-time champion Jeff Gordon. ''We analyze those things everytime we go through a wreck, and they have cracked while doing their job. Until one cracks and breaks and doesn't do their job, I don't think any of us are concerned.''

[Editor's Note: A cracked HANS Device after an accident means the carbon fiber device is doing its job and the forces from the accident are being transmitted through the HANS Device instead of the driver's neck. If not for the device NASCAR would have a lot more Dale Earnhardt situations whereby they pull down the safety net on the driver's window, find blood flowing out of the driver's nose like they found Earnhardt, Petty and Erwin, and take the dead body away in a body bag.]

Leave a Reply