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Horific Crash in IRL Race in Texas...

(Click here to view the original thread with full colors/images)



Posted by: Todd

Anyone see the season ending race for the IRL at Texas Motor Speedway today? There was a horrible crash with 12 laps to go involving Thomas Sheckter and Kenny Brack. Brack was seriously injured but awake and alert afterwards. As seen below, his car went into the air, hit the fence, and broke apart and spun around many many times. All that was left was the driver capsule. The rest of the car including wheels, engine, body, etc has all over the track through the fence. Hopefully he'll fully recover from this....

http://sportsmed.starwave.com/i/media/rpm/2003/1012/photo/a_brack_il.jpg

http://espn.go.com/rpm/irl/2003/1012/1636638.html

Video can be found here:

http://espn.go.com/rpm/irl/2003/1012/1636638.html#



Posted by: bigray327

Wow, I almost went to that race, but had to settle for it on TiVo. I hope everyone's OK.



Posted by: RichsSat

Good thing it was an IRL race that the accident happened at. If it was a NASCAR or F1 event the debris probably would have injured quite a few spectators (note the empty grandstands in the pic).

Seriously tho, I wish Kenny a complete and speedy recovery. Horrible looking crash.



Posted by: Francesco

Wow. I've seen devasting wrecks before, including fatal ones, but I don't recall ever seeing a car dissolve so completely. The fact that the cockpit remained almost intact is truly amazing.



Posted by: YamahaRick

quote:
Originally posted by Francesco
Wow. I've seen devasting wrecks before, including fatal ones, but I don't recall ever seeing a car dissolve so completely. The fact that the cockpit remained almost intact is truly amazing.

The car is designed for that to occur ... to minimize the amount of energy the driver has to experience.

I'm no fan of the IRL, but I am glad to hear that the driver did not sustain life-threatening injuries.



Posted by: macmedic

OH MY GOD, They (almost) KILLED KENNY!

...Sorry, couldn't resist a tasteless, juvenile joke.



Posted by: MarkofT

quote:
Originally posted by Francesco
Wow. I've seen devasting wrecks before, including fatal ones, but I don't recall ever seeing a car dissolve so completely. The fact that the cockpit remained almost intact is truly amazing.


Not really all that amaizing when you consider how much all the top race series devote to safety. The is a bit of after thought to parts going into the stands. This is why NASCAR and some others came out with tire and hood teathers and catchfences lean into the track with a hook towards the track. Almost everything else introduced is to protect the driver.

Intracite roll cages for the stock cars.
Disinegrating cars, crush zones or soft walls.
Higher cockpit sides for open cars.
Very close fitting seats.
Paved or graveled runoff areas.

Wasn't even that big of a crash. There was an accident at Talladega just this month at least a bad, several accidents at Daytona or Talladega that actually had car pass untouched under crashing cars, cars running into the end of walls, a LeMans crash a few years ago where a Mercedes tried to prove it could fly, and an example of what happens when a stockcar loses it's brakes and the runoff area after the end of the front stretch sloped down and away from the plane of the track.

He'll be fine and be back at work next season.



Posted by: Francesco

I'm aware of all the safety advances, thank you, and the physics of deceleration. That really helped Dale Sr., huh, whose car was undamaged by comparison.



Posted by: MarkofT

Don't forget Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin. All 3 were killed due to their restraints not being up to their particular impact.

In the case of Kenny Breck's accident it wasn't all that great other then he caught some air and bounced off the catchfence. Allison did that at Daytona and he took out a section of the front stretch fence. Sprints and Outlaws bounce off the catch fence just about every Saturday night. Cars have broken up into cockpit, engine and millions of bits in IRL, Cart, NASCAR and both major drag racing series.

I fail to see why anyone should be surprised that to cockpit survived. In the last few years they always have. They have come a long way since the top speed in a race was 32 MPH and the restraint system was the driver holding the wheel and the mechanic holding the seat.



Posted by: FLbadgirl

I saw this yesterday afternoon and it immediately reminded me of Dale Earnhardt's crash. Very little said by the race commentors which had me a little concerend at the on-set of the medical crew arriving) just over a year ago. But luckily the driver's compartment stayed in tact. With all new safety requirements I am not shocked in the least that it held up.

As of last night they said he was in serious but stable condition. Has anyone heard any updated news?



Posted by: Francesco

quote:
Originally posted by MarkofT
Don't forget Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin. All 3 were killed due to their restraints not being up to their particular impact.

In the case of Kenny Breck's accident it wasn't all that great other then he caught some air and bounced off the catchfence. Allison did that at Daytona and he took out a section of the front stretch fence. Sprints and Outlaws bounce off the catch fence just about every Saturday night. Cars have broken up into cockpit, engine and millions of bits in IRL, Cart, NASCAR and both major drag racing series.

I fail to see why anyone should be surprised that to cockpit survived. In the last few years they always have. They have come a long way since the top speed in a race was 32 MPH and the restraint system was the driver holding the wheel and the mechanic holding the seat.

I guess you didn't see Greg Moore or Alex Zanardi's crashes? Or Stan Fox at Indy in 1995, legs dangling from the from front of the sheared cockpit?



Posted by: Todd

I wasn't surprised either than the cockpit stayed together, but that was still a horific accident. I would bet most people who are not in as good a shape as someone like Brack probably would have been killed. But then most people don't drive indy cars at 225 mph.

The latest news on Kenny, from ESPN.com:

quote:
Brack suffered multiple fractures at the season-ending Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday when his car was hit from behind and pinwheeled into the air. The car broke apart when it slammed into the 12-foot steel catchfence at the top of the 39-inch concrete wall on the backstretch.

Brack had surgery on his broken thigh and broken ankles and doctors considered the surgery successful, IRL spokesman Tom Savage said Monday. The driver had surgery Sunday night and remained in serious but stable condition at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Savage added. Brack was awake and alert on Sunday night, according to IRL director of medical services Dr. Henry Bock.

Brack also faces more surgery for a broken lower back and broken sternum. Doctors want to determine if Brack can be transferred to an Indianapolis hospital to treat those injuries.

Brack was awake and alert when airlifted to Parkland after being removed from what was left of his car following the wreck.

ESPN's Marlo Klain has learned that Brack did not suffer paralysis and that he could be transported to Indianapolis as soon as Tuesday.







Posted by: IJustLikeTivo

Well, at least since it was IRL there were no spectators to be hurt!



Posted by: JohnJr

quote:
Originally posted by Francesco
Or Stan Fox at Indy in 1995, legs dangling from the from front of the sheared cockpit?


shiver

-John



Posted by: MarkofT

quote:
Originally posted by Francesco
I guess you didn't see Greg Moore or Alex Zanardi's crashes? Or Stan Fox at Indy in 1995, legs dangling from the from front of the sheared cockpit?


I may have seen Stan Fox but I didn't see Greg Moore or Alex Zanardi crash. I did watch Rich Vogel's helmet roll across the track duing a one of ESPN's live Thursday Night Thunders races.

Fromt he descriptions of Kenny's injuries it seems he slammed between the seat and the restraint harness and his legs and feet smashed around in the cockpit tub.

Kenny didn't seem to head into anything but Stan, Greg and Alex probably all piled into something and there isn't suffecient front crush zone.

Sounds like everything performed as it should have.



Posted by: bluenoise

quote:
Originally posted by MarkofT
I may have seen Stan Fox but I didn't see Greg Moore or Alex Zanardi crash. I did watch Rich Vogel's helmet roll across the track duing a one of ESPN's live Thursday Night Thunders races.

Fromt he descriptions of Kenny's injuries it seems he slammed between the seat and the restraint harness and his legs and feet smashed around in the cockpit tub.

Kenny didn't seem to head into anything but Stan, Greg and Alex probably all piled into something and there isn't suffecient front crush zone.

Sounds like everything performed as it should have.



IIRC, Zanardi's car was sheared in half by another car that t-boned him at 200+ MPH. Had the cockpit held together, the g-forces of the impact would've certainly killed him. Terrifying crash.

bluenoise



Posted by: Francesco

Greg's car went airborne at Fontana at top speed (around 225, they say), and it was found that during the tumble, the cocoon did not stay intact and his harness actually came apart.

As for Zanardi, the fact that he's even alive is a miracle and a tribute to the efforts of the Simple Green safety crew and the CART series doctors who managed to stop the profuse bleeding from both femoral arteries when his legs were severed. He had lost 70% of his blood.




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