NASCAR officials are ‘disappointed’ following the rollover crash at Talladega Superspeedway
On Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, Joey Logano was involved in a wicked crash. Pinball in a series of bump drafts sent Logano backwards into turn three.
With the rear of the car heading first into turn three, air pushed the rear end off the ground. The No. 22 machine did a backflip and landed on it’s roof.
Bubba Wallace came into the scene and drove under the No. 22 machine. Questions have surfaced following the crash.
During the 2018 season, the rear spoiler of a NASCAR Cup Series machine sat at just 2.375 inches. For 2019, the spoiler was drastically increased to 8 inches for every track except road courses and short tracks.
However, the spoiler at Talladega Superspeedway sits at 9 inches. An extra inch is used to reduce engine revs and closing speeds.
But, when cars get turned around, the bigger spoiler could be playing a roll in lift off. In that case, the rear wing transforms from a downforce producer to a lift off producer.
In previous years, most notably during the rear-wing era of the COT, NASCAR saw many cars doing backflips. As the wing was removed, the number of rollover accidents was drastically reduced.
Sunday’s crash saw the rollbar partially collapse into the driver’s compartment.
“My office got a little dinged up yesterday,” Joey Logano stated as he shared pictures of his wrecked machine via social media.
“The good lord had his hand on me! turns out, being a tall race car driver is not a good thing. I will take this opportunity to continue to push our sport to become safer with even better racing on track. Thank you for all the support yesterday!”
Scott Miller comments on the Joey Logano crash
“We’re disappointed with what transpired, but super happy that Joey was OK and the roll hoop, and all the things that needed to protect him, did,” Miller told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“But cars getting up in the air is not good. It’s something that we’ve been working on and will continue to work on.”
“Our engineers will be in touch with the crew chief and engineers at Penske, trying to dig through every detail.”
Changes in recent years to keep cars on the ground:
“It’s been a long evolution. I certainly will miss some steps along the way.”
“Some of the bigger things that are incorporated now… The roof flaps, that was a very very big one. The tail extension that’s on superspeedway cars, that’s not on any other kind of car. It keeps as much air from getting underneath the car, should it go backwards.”
“The way the sideskirts are configured. The way the roof rails are configured. All of those things are improvements in that lift off speed.”
“Obviously, we saw this weekend that it’s not enough. We will continue to work, as we always do to see if there’s something else that we can do, immediately.
NASCAR comments on the Derrick Lancaster crash
Derrick Lancaster was involved in a crash off turn two in Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series event at Talladega Superspeedway. As the car impacted the wall, it caught fire. The machine rolled all the way down the back stretch, on fire.
The driver was transported to a hospital after the incident. He’s been placed on a ventilator and remains in critical but stable condition per an update from the family.
ARCA is owned by NASCAR. The safety team is inspecting the car from the crash to see if improvements can be made.
“Definitely, the car was impounded and our safety people were on site,” Miller stated.
“I haven’t seen the report. But, we certainly do get involved with ARCA. Any time we can learn and improve a situation like that, just by attention to whatever detail. Again, I don’t know exactly what caught on fire, I haven’t seen the report.”
“We do get involved and dig into those things to try to understand what happened. To try to avoid it, not only for ARCA but for all of our series in the future.”
Miller also detailed the safety response in the event of a crash:
“There’s a few different things going on in the tower. There’s the clean up crews, the officiating of the race, then there’s fire and safety. An enormous amount of training goes into all that. Lots of forward thought about where the equipment is placed and can be dispatched most quickly to the scene of the accident.”
“It’s one of those things that we constantly work to get better at. Talladega and Daytona, some of the bigger places with all the real estate, dispatch is super quick. Sometimes they have to travel a little further than other times. If there is a delay in getting there, it’s because of the distance they travel, not the dispatch.”
Lancaster suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to both arms. However, his safety equipment passed inspection prior to the event, like every driver in the field.
“There’s certain standards that all of the drivers have to go through before competition,” Miller explained.
He added, “There’s identification numbers on the driver’s suits that let our officials know that it’s a certified suit. It’s called an SFI sticker. It’s an independent safety that tests everything from harnesses, fire equipment, helmets. All of that has to be SFI approved.”