Horribly sad news. The man who really spear-headed and pioneered safety in motorsports — Bill Simpson has passed away at the age of 79.
The @MotorsportsHOF regrets to report the passing of 2003 Inductee Bill Simpson following a stroke. His racing career began as a driver then he became a pioneer in racing safety that assures his impact on motorsports will live forever. #mshfa #heroesofhorsepower @DISupdates pic.twitter.com/1Efh92jA8z
— Motorsports HOF (@MotorsportsHOF) December 16, 2019
News had begun to spread on Monday, that Simpson was hospitalized following suffering a stroke. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America confirmed that Simpson had passed away Mondat afternoon.
Simpson, a former racer, founded Simpson Racing Products as the result of a drag racing crash where he was injured at the age of 18.
The safety product man made a name for himself by going to extreme lengths to prove that his products made things safer for race car drivers. On numerous occasions, Simpson would strap all of his gear on, douse himself in gasoline and be lit on fire as a demonstration of his product line.
After controversy stemming from the death of Dale Earnhardt at the end of the 2001 Daytona 500, Simpson left the company he founded in July of 2001.
In 2002, Simpson started a new racing safety products company — Impact! Racing.