NHRA cuts race distance to 1,000 feet: Move made to enhance safety after Kalitta's de - ModernCamaro.com - 5th Generation Camaro Enthusiasts
The MC Lounge General Discussions. Disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated.
POLITICAL AND/OR RELIGIOUS CONTENT IS PROHIBITED

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 07-02-2008, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
Supporting Super Moderator
 
brandonppr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 5,668
 
NHRA cuts race distance to 1,000 feet: Move made to enhance safety after Kalitta's de

I never expected this. Didn't his car blow up way before the end?


http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dl...686860405/1065

The NHRA has cut the race distance for its Top Fuel and Funny Car classes to 1,000 feet--320 feet short of a quarter-mile--as a safety measure in the wake of the death of racer Scott Kalitta nearly two weeks ago.

The shorter race distance takes effect with the Mopar Mile Hile Nationals in Denver, Colorado, on July 11-13.

Shortening the race distance will give the Funny Car and Top Fuel dragsters more runoff room after the finish line.

Kalitta died on June 21 in Englishtown, New Jersey, when his Funny Car engine exploded during a qualifying run. Kalitta's car ran off the end of the track, through a sand pit and crashed into a wall. The car's parachutes did not deploy. Kalitta, 46, was taken to a nearby hospital and declared dead.

After Kalitta's crash, several drivers complained that the runoff area at the Englishtown track was not long enough.

The NHRA said the change was made in collaboration with the race teams.

"With the change, fans will still be able to enjoy the sights, sounds and thrill of NHRA nitro racing with speeds around 300 mph and quick elapsed times to 1,000 feet," the NHRA said in a statement.

The NHRA said it is looking at the following issues as it investigates Kalitta's crash:

-- How to reduce engine failures.

-- Parachute mounting techniques and materials.

-- Increasing braking efficiency when downforce is lost due to a car body being lost.

-- New ways to stop runaway vehicles at the end of the track.

-- Considering the need to reduce speeds for more safety.

Drag racing legend Kenny Bernstein, president of the Professional Racers Owners Organization, said the group supports the change.

"It is not lost on any of us that this constitutes a change in our history of running a quarter-mile, but it's the most immediate adjustment we can make in the interest of safety which is foremost on everyone's mind," Bernstein said in a statement. "This may be a temporary change and we recognize it is not the total answer."

1998 Camaro A4 7.06 @ 96.5 MPH NA 1.47 best 60ft
2010 Camaro Tube Chassis work in progress
brandonppr is offline  
post #2 of 11 Old 07-03-2008, 06:13 AM
CJP
Veteran Member
 
CJP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,746
 
****, I had no idea what had happen ( deployed and stuff ). ****, I have seen him race so many times. But isn't the track runoff distance different on each track? I understand a quarter mile, but the distance after that differs from track to track, right? I know it might cost track owners a bit, but why not extend the length of the runoff?

Your Car, Your Story, only on COMBUSTION CHAMBER!
https://www.youtube.com/c/combustionchamber
CJP is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 07-03-2008, 06:34 AM
Veteran Member
 
$˘'s 5th Gen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,148
 
I saw a car runoff the end of Houston Raceway Park's 1/4 mile this year at Orielly Natls. It was the pro gas or whatever division runs in the low 6s. The chutttes didnt deploy and he was right around 100mph when he hit the safety net. It stretched and brought him back, and he was unhurt.
How fast was Kilitta going when he hit the wall?

Sold the 68
Ready for the 2010
$˘'s 5th Gen is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 07-03-2008, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
Supporting Super Moderator
 
brandonppr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 5,668
 
It looks like Autoweak didn't get it right.

This is not a permenant change. Here is the story from NHRA:
NHRA shortens race distance for Top Fuel and Funny Car classes to 1,000 feet as an interim safety measure
http://www.nhra.com/content/news/30355.htm

As the investigation continues into the tragic accident that took the life of driver Scott Kalitta, NHRA has announced that beginning at the Mopar Mile High Nationals in Denver, Colo., both the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes will race to 1,000 feet instead of the traditional 1,320 feet or one-quarter mile. This is an interim step that is being taken while NHRA continues to analyze and determine whether changes should be made to build upon the sport's long standing safety record, given the inherent risks and ever-present dangers associated with the sport.

This interim change was made by NHRA in collaboration with professional race teams. NHRA believes that racing the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes to 1,000 feet will allow NHRA and the racing community time to evaluate, analyze and implement potential changes based on the safety initiatives outlined last week.

With the change, fans will still be able to enjoy the sights, sounds and thrill of NHRA nitro racing with speeds around 300 mph and quick elapsed times to 1,000 feet.

Over the years, NHRA has implemented many initiatives to enhance safety including measures to limit speeds from increasing, personal protective gear, vehicle improvements, and track enhancements such as sand traps, catch nets and concrete barriers the entire length of the drag strip.

In the wake of the tragic series of events that took Kalitta's life, the following technical issues are currently under investigation: 1) what might be done to reduce engine failures; 2) parachute mounting techniques and materials as well as identifying a parachute material that could be more fire resistant; 3) exploring whether there is a way to increase brake efficiency when cars lose downforce due to the loss of the body; 4) analyzing additional methods that might be developed at the top end of the race track to help arrest runaway vehicles; 5) considering whether current speeds should be further limited or reduced to potentially improve safety.

“The board members of the Professional Racers Owners Organization (PRO) wholeheartedly and unanimously support this decision,” said its president Kenny Bernstein. “We want to thank NHRA for listening to our input and suggestions to incorporate these changes. It is not lost on any of us that this constitutes a change in our history of running a quarter-mile, but it's the most immediate adjustment we can make in the interest of safety which is foremost on everyone's mind. This may be a temporary change and we recognize it is not the total answer. We will continue to work hand in hand with NHRA to evaluate other methods of making Top Fuel and Funny Car competition safer so that we might return to our quarter-mile racing standard. We also want to thank Connie Kalitta for his invaluable input. He has been a rock through these difficult times.”

1998 Camaro A4 7.06 @ 96.5 MPH NA 1.47 best 60ft
2010 Camaro Tube Chassis work in progress
brandonppr is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 07-03-2008, 09:38 AM
See You On Course
 
CUONCRS's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 3,867
 
Stupid. Don't change the distance, that they have been racing for decades. Change the **** safety standards and the run-offs. Geez, the safety Nazis go crazy when accidents happen. These people race cars for a living. They understand and accept the consequences. Try to make it safer, but you can't change the distance, that's just silly.

2010 Stock IBM 2SS/RS

I found $80 in my jeans pocket. The kid in me said "buy nerf guns and candy!" But then the adult in me said "buy vodka, nerf guns and candy!"

CUONCRS is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 07-03-2008, 10:51 AM
ModernCamaro.com Founder / Former Camaro Disciple
 
OctaneZ28's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Chicagoland, IL
Posts: 11,842
           
Well as long as it's a temporary change, that's good.
I'm glad they are acting on it and doing something.
Ultimately the run-offs will need to be longer and safer.

Old Bridge Township Raceway Park (where the crash took place) will need some major reworking because the run-off there is notoriously short.

2001 Camaro Z28 H/C/I LH6 A4 3.42

Like ModernCamaro.com on Facebook!
OctaneZ28 is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 07-03-2008, 11:08 AM
Newbie
 
mxkx250's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 6
 
I was torn about the decision because of the history and alure of racing 1/4 mile. The day after the crash I saw some of the drivers talking about shortening the races. One in particular said that most drivers agree that
1000' would be a good distance. He said that most engine explosions and failures happen after that distance. I would not be opposed to seeing this happen.
I do wonder though, as far as records and such, how will this go? Is every new run from this point the track record. Will they take the recorded trajectory from the computers to compare and say if this is a new record?
I would much rather see a shorter race, within reason, than restricting power. I would hate to see a NASCAR type restrictor plate used.
It was said that these tracks were built in the 50's and 60's when they were dong 200mph. They are now doing 330mph. These old tracks have now been built upon by urban growth and don't have the land available to make an adequate shutdown area. New tracks are almost impossible to have built because of the land requirement. Build it where land is available and resonably priced and it is 100 miles from nowhere. Find enough land near civilization, and it would be so expensive that ticket prices would have to triple for a profit to be made.
mxkx250 is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 07-04-2008, 01:00 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 50
 
Someone asked how fast Kalitta was going - It was estimated at 300 mph.

It is not known if Kallita died at the time of the explosion. Many racer's have survived ( including walked away from ) similar explosions in recent years. With that said, what most likely killed Kalitta was crashing into the end wall and then slamming into a tree just beyond the wall.

While I agree the NHRA needs to evaluate many of the conditions they're looking into since the death of Scott Kalitta, they also need to reconsider some of the tracks the Pro Circuit is racing on these days. It is my opinion that Englishtown no longer meets safety standards which need to be met with the current speeds and elapsed times the Nitro classes are running. Many newer drag strips have what most consider to be safety standards that meet or exceed for current conditions. Take RT.66 in Joliet, Illinois for example, the pavement there is almost a 1/2 mile long, and beyond the pavement is an open field. The Strip in Las Vegas would be another newer track that exceeds safety standards. There is a new track opening in South Carolina soon, which also will be a state-of-the-art facility. So it is my opinion that the NHRA should hold (and or bring back) multiple events at these tracks (Vegas still holds two events per season) and discontinue racing at tracks not up to safety standards.

Then again, I have been asking myself for sometime now, how fast is too fast in the quarter mile? 300 mph and 5 second et's has almost taken the fun out of watching two people race heads up in the quarter-mile. Do these guys really need to go faster, or quicker? The golden era of drag racing during the sixties and seventies with the goal of; how fast I go and how quick can I do it in - is gone. Maybe it's time to regulate speed and elapsed times, and just race every class "heads up" for competition with set rules. Much like IRL and NASCAR.

Last edited by jkidd; 07-04-2008 at 01:04 PM.
jkidd is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 07-05-2008, 02:58 PM
BDC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canton Mi.
Posts: 523
 
320 ft with the chute out equals about 2 tenths of a second.i dont think it will make one bit of difference. he crashed cause his car was on fire.the chute didnt work and he died cause the shutdown (emergency area was poorly set up)

unless he was gone (from the blower exploding in his face before he hit?)i think if the runoff was designed like most tracks just a sand pit about 300 ft long hed probally be alive.just my opinion.

might as well just race 1/8th mile.

just another guy dreaming of owning a 09 camaro

WWW.MYSPACE.COM/BDCNDE
BDC is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 07-05-2008, 03:15 PM
Dark Side Moderator
 
Jinx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Burlington , NC
Posts: 2,665
  
I figured something like this would happen after his death.


2005 Mustang GT-4.6L 3v /M5
2.3L Whipple Intercooled, 3.25'' pulley(11psi),FRPP 62mm TB, FRPP Stinger Axleback, UPR catted X-pipe, FRPP Handling Pack, 20'' Staggered Black Steeda Spyder Wheels, NT-05 Nittos, 3.73s, Hurst Shifter, and DF Centerforce Clutch
527rwhp, 479rwtq
Jinx is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the ModernCamaro.com - 5th Generation Camaro Enthusiasts forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome