NHRA driver Scott Kalitta killed in NHRA qualifying

Viper007Bond

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gti138

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I was watching the Nascar Nationwide race this morning (Australian time) when they mentioned it.... Thought it must have been a pretty massive crash to be a fatality. Then I saw the footage on Youtube and it's borderline disturbing. Like watching Senna's crash...

My thoughts are with his family.
 

Devon

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Wow, that is a sickening accident.

My thoughts are with his family, may he rest in peace.
 

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first time you see it your like wow :jawdrop: ,hitting the wall at what i belive over 200 mph is something ... well very sad, the news circled the globe (even europe), on the bright side, he died very very quickly and especially doing what he wanted :driving:

:(
 
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It just shows that despite all the safety development racing is still dangerous and drag racing is one of the most dangerous forms of it. It was a really shocking accident, he didn't stand a chance :(

What I cannot understand, though, is the track design there. Only a really short gravel trap and a concrete barrier? A very dangerous place to have any sort of parachute failure.
 

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^ Yeah when I saw it on TV for the first time my first reaction was that the track is way to short for any sort of vehicle thats traveling that kind of velocity. From the shot it looks like the track just ends and there are woods so that all they would have to do is cut into the trees to make the track longer but when you look it up on google earth you see that there is a road just right on the other side of the trees. I've noticed before on other tracks that there is a much larger sand trap and layers of fencing designed to absorb and slow the car down but he was still traveling to fast and I don't think it would have helped in this instance. Of course we all seem to be assuming that he died from the impact at the end of the track but maybe he was already dead before then based on his inability to slow the car down at all. Either way it's sad. :(
 

Hazardous

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I think they said in the ESPN broadcast that he died from injuries sustained from the impact at the end of the track. In any case, it seems like he was still conscious after the engine blew. He switched on the fire extinquishers (unless they are automatic these days) and he deployed the parachutes. Unfortunately the fire was hot enough to burn the parachutes out, and at that point he coudln't do much to slow the car down. The car also seemed to swing from side to side at the end of the track, but whether that was Scott trying to scrub off speed or the car running without a driver we'll never know.

Which is why the short length of the circuit amazes me. Like I said, any kind of parachute failure in high speed over there is almost certainly going to cause a really severe accident.
 

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I have to say I've been to Englishtown Raceway and I have to say the sand trap at the end is no different than anyother track the NHRA runs at. I believe the NHRA requirement is 300 feet. however at that speed theres really not much that can be done. The motor blew at the 1000' mark and by then he would have been doing 290-300 mph. I dont think the parachute failed, it was never pulled, he was probably unconcious from the motor explosion. Really sad day for drag racers everywhere:(
 

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NHRA is now shortening the track because of this incident

From www.nhra.com
NHRA shortens race distance for Top Fuel and Funny Car classes to 1,000 feet as an interim safety measure

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
 

Hazardous

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I was also wondering about that. Fine, they reduce the top speeds by a bit and add 300 feet of slowdown space but neither are of much use if you have an accident like Scott did. According to NHRA the speeds will still be 300+mph despite the shorter track so it's not that effective way to slow the cars down.
 

Viper007Bond

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You'd think a LONGER track would be better with marshmallows at the end.
 

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There was a crash at Grand Bend Motorplex (not far from London, Ontario) a few years ago where an IHRA driver died after running off the end of the track. Apparently his throttle stuck and he just flew off the end of the track, across the fifty-foot-long sand trap and into the trees where he crashed. I think they responded by keeping the track the same length, but increasing the length of the sand trap to two hundred feet.

In the years I've been going to the IHRA events in Grand Bend, I've never seen anything even close to that kind of crash (though I have seen many an engine disintegrate.) Would the extra one hundred and fifty feet in the sand trap help? Who knows? You can't prevent every kind of accident, you can only reduce the risk. It's a bit of a cliche to say this, and certainly not to minimize Scott Kalitta's death, but every driver in every kind of motorsport knows (or should know) that every time they strap in, it could be their last time.

Again, RIP Scott...
 

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In the years I've been going to the IHRA events in Grand Bend, I've never seen anything even close to that kind of crash (though I have seen many an engine disintegrate.) Would the extra one hundred and fifty feet in the sand trap help? Who knows? You can't prevent every kind of accident, you can only reduce the risk. It's a bit of a cliche to say this, and certainly not to minimize Scott Kalitta's death, but every driver in every kind of motorsport knows (or should know) that every time they strap in, it could be their last time.

Again, RIP Scott...

exactly this was a freak tragic accident. The saftey in these cars has expaned 1000x what it used to be. the first person to hit 200 in one of these cars didn't even have a harness. he had a lap belt and an open face helmet:blink: and while every death cannot be prevented alot are. at least the NHRA is making some sort of attempt at making some kind of changes the make it safer even at an expense to them. the only thing im wondering is about low et records and mph records
 
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Necx0

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I think the safety standards are somewhat laughable and certainly can't see any other form of motorsport agreeing to it. Giving cars that rely on parachutes to slow down 300 feet to slow from 300+mph is just ridiculous. To end with a solid concrete wall?? Tragic accident but I think drag racing in general needs to have a big look at its safety standards.

You are running probably the most dangerous race cars in the world in a concrete canyon of 4 foot high walls. Cars travelling that fast can go a long long long way.
 

Jeepin

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I think the safety standards are somewhat laughable and certainly can't see any other form of motorsport agreeing to it. Giving cars that rely on parachutes to slow down 300 feet to slow from 300+mph is just ridiculous. To end with a solid concrete wall?? Tragic accident but I think drag racing in general needs to have a big look at its safety standards.

You are running probably the most dangerous race cars in the world in a concrete canyon of 4 foot high walls. Cars travelling that fast can go a long long long way.


I think you guys are misunderstanding, they alot more than 300 feet. The sand trap is 300 feet and is only used if they cant slow down after the finish line. there is another quarter mile after the finish line and then the sand. so effectivly they 1620 feet to slowdown..
 

Necx0

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I thought that might be the case, as 300 feet is nothing.

Regardless......its still hopelessly inadequate for cars travelling at that speed. Another quarter mile?? They cover that in about 3 secs at top speed.
 

Jeepin

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That particular drag strip cant expand anymore because about 500 feet behind the end barrier is a neighborhood. There is lots of houses that have already tried to have the strip shutdown multiple times for noise.
 
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