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NASCAR Submits Findings from Next Gen Crash Test to Safety Panel for Additional Review

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 05: NASCAR unveils the seventh generation of the NASCAR Cup Series Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota cars during the NASCAR Next Gen Car Announcement on May 05, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Following last week’s crash test for the Next Gen car at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR has carried out their preliminary findings of the test, before delivering their results to an independent safety panel, consisting of four highly-qualified individuals with extensive knowledge in their respective fields.

The four-person safety panel includes:

  • Dr. James Riddle, who took part in the investigation of Dale Earnhardt’s death
  • Dr. Jeff Crandall, an engineering consultant to the NFL
  • Dr. Barry Myers, a biomedical engineering professor at Duke University.
  • Dr. Joel Stitzel, the chair of biomedical engineering at Wake Forest Baptist Health.

The car’s initial crash testing was done with a spec vehicle, driven by a robot and further fitted with a crash test dummy, giving biomechanical engineers the chance to study how the dummy reacts throughout an accident.

NASCAR’s competition officials have confirmed that the data is being further studied, but havedeclined to comment on the crash testing and its formal findings, until the testing is totally completed. The Next Gen car is scheduled to make its debut in the NASCAR Cup Series next season, beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 in February.

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