Sunday, April 06, 2008

Michael Mcdowell Crash at Texas Motor Speedway

If you have not seen the crash yet, it was one of the hardest I have ever seen, thank god Michael was okay.

The car is obviously safer, that is not what I want to write about, what I want to address is what the media has not or wont talk about.

Has anyone else noticed that they are deliberately not talking much at all about the track cleanup?

Has anyone else also noticed that we seem to be having an abundance of oil lines leaking this year?

Is there anything we can do from a drivers viewpoint to help out?

Here is what I am proposing we study and talk about.

1. I have long believed that we can and should do a better job at cleaning up after a wreck and especially a fluid leak.

2. We need to re-look at how these cars are constructed in relation to the oil system.

3. We need to educate drivers and their spotters on what they can do when they have had a engine failure.

So here is a rundown of the problems and potential solutions.

1. When we have a fluid leak out go the crews and they spread out the speedy dry, let it sit and sometimes get the jet dryers out and blow it off.

This is where we need to change our thinking.

First off, the last thing we should be concerning our self about is how long the delay will be or the race might not get done on time. My answer to that is start the race 1 hour earlier, this will give us plenty of time to clean up after a fluid spill. After all what is more important than saving a human life.

What we need to study closer is how we apply the speedy dry and how we clean it up.

First off the safety crews need to slow down and the track officials need to stop pressuring them to work faster. They need to be given the time they need to properly do their job, period.

Second, we need to look at how the clean up is done. I have long wondered why the speedy dry is not always removed after a spill, this needs to be addressed, and also how the speedy dry is removed. It makes no sense to not remove the speedy dry, we need to take the time and remove it.

When the speedy dry is removed, we need to be assured that it is all off especially in positions on the track where traction is important.

Is the sweeper good enough alone?

Should the jet driers be used all the time?

It really is a question of physics, a powder left on the track will offer less traction on the surface, just think of it as a light dusting of snow or rain, just a slight amount can lessening the traction available.

Speaking of physics, lets also talk about a better way of getting the speedy dry off after it has absorbed the spilt material.

After the sweepers and sweeper/vacuum machines have done their part, and then the jet driers blow any residual away, we need to examine the surface and see if there is still a surface barrier of speedy dry left over.

My guess is that there is.

This is where we need to study possibly washing the track with a good ole street washing machine. This will liquify the remaining powder left over, and then the driers can finish the job off and voila a very clean and track that offers traction.

2 The Oil System

Has anyone else noticed lately the amount of oil lines that are coming off of engines? Can we not secure these things guys? Seems to me there are either some pretty lazy mechanics( suggested by tv announcers) or we need to design some better oil lines and containment system. Maybe we need to go back to a conventional oil system with a deeper sump pump? or, maybe we need to redesign the entire engine package with the oil pump at the rear of the engine, this would save all the damage to the pump and lines when they smack into something.

3. Education

This is the easiest thing we can fix, how many times do you see drivers after they knew they blew up just drive down the middle of the track like nothing happened. The spotters need to check for traffic and get the drivers down to the apron a.s.a.p This will dramatically change everything, the cleanup, the danger and the time the race will be delayed. This needs to be acted on right away.

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