Graham Light

Discussion in 'Pit Buzz' started by Jezman, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Jezman

    Jezman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Direct quote: Light went on to explain designing a perfect run-off and safety net area at NHRA tracks is not easy.

    “The challenge with our sport, unlike say NASCAR, Formula 1, or IRL is that we have such a diverse group of vehicles,” Light said. “You’re trying to design something to restrain many, many different shapes of vehicles, weights of vehicles, small narrow tires, big wide tires, long skinny cars, motorcycles, it is unlike anything that NASCAR, IRL or any other sanctioning body has to deal with. That has been the challenge for the University of Nebraska to try and come up with something that works effectively for the wide gamut of vehicles we run.”

    Listening to suggestions and opinions from owners, drivers and competitors is something Light welcomes.

    Now from what I read he states the challenge is the diverse group of vehicles. See when you look at it like that then yes there is a challenge.

    The issue is slowing down the energy of the vehicles. Which is definitely where the problem lies. The technology is no doubtfully there. Now how is it going to be fixed?
     
    #1
  2. clint thompson

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    4
    shorten the track

    I am for shortening the racing distance to 1000 feet. The sport did not die when they did it for the pros, no one is in the stands when we run anyway so who would care if all the classes just ran 1000'. I still believe the catch net / traps can and need to be much better, but that is in the development stage and we can't keep losing friends while we develop it. It also should be MANDATORY that the traps be tilled or "fluffed up" before every race, perhaps even every day. There is NO EXCUSE for a hard gravel road where a catch trap is supposed to be. I also think the angled net Idea bears some looking into by the smart folks, maybe angled into another net that is angled the opposite way? I am no engineer, but shortening the track to 1000' would've saved Mark Niver's life. I vote for 1000' racing for ALL CLASSES.
     
    #2
  3. LUTHER

    LUTHER New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know NHRA doesnt have the $$$$$$$ as nazcar but why not send a few drone cars down a track like nazcar did to evaluate walls nets sand water etc.
    To use the "well these nets have been made by the same people, and have worked great forever"....is bullsh!t!
     
    #3
  4. DOUG GORDON

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    1000 ft

    I don't think they will run the alcohol cars to 1000'. They are trying to get the Fuel cars back to 1320. If they make us go to 1000' it would probably set a precidence that even the alcohol cars are to fast. A thousand foot probably would have saved Marks life but Carbon fiber brakes probably would of also. But the nets need to be fixed either way because no matter what we do someone will end up in the net. There has been guys stick it in the net after a burnout (I believe Cory Mac did quite a few years ago). Just my opinion.
    Doug Gordon
     
    #4
  5. rick macedo racing

    rick macedo racing New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why dont we look at from this view point if our cars are not safe or do not pass tech we make the repairs as the rules see fit and cant run until they retech it.Fine no problem,why dosent someone like say a sanctioning body have an outside consultant or someone in the sport that is in the engenering worl,Get an outside viewpoint and make them make the changes so its safer than whats going on now.
     
    #5
  6. Randy G.

    Randy G. Top Alcohol

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,902
    Likes Received:
    36
    I agree with Doug. If Pomona were run to 1,000 feet the shut off would still be 380 feet shorter than Seattle is and it didn't matter.

    I watched Randy Eakins' deal and Niver's and neither one looks like the cars were slowing down much. We know Niver did not have carbon brakes. Did Eakins? Eakins only went 249 and destroyed the car. Thankfully he didn't get hurt.

    See Eakins run here:

    [video=youtube;dtHbG-iOT5g]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtHbG-iOT5g&feature=related[/video]
     
    #6
  7. john348

    john348 Top Alcohol

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,348
    Likes Received:
    2
    what about putting wider tires on the dragsters and adding front brakes to them also
    everyone would get used to them after a while
     
    #7
  8. Bob Meyer

    Bob Meyer Comp Eliminator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    27
    John; not pickin on you, but I've seen too many people make this statement.
    One of the bracket dragster guys with breakout racing was featured in a magazine article about how he was going to show how it should be done.
    Fourth race out we got to see pictures of his front end complete with big tires about half way up the cowl, he had his arm up to try to stop it, it didn't hit him because it went over the guardrail first.

    Maybe if all dragsters were cut off at the footbox and heavy wall tube used and spaced apart like a F/C and 25 crossmembers added, it might work, maybe.....
    Let's just say people need to think about it for a long while!
     
    #8
  9. Dave Germain

    Dave Germain New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    896
    Likes Received:
    0
    Stopping Dragsters

    I dont have a dragster anymore but after seeing what happens when they hit the nets I would think that hitting them head-on is a vey bad thing. Before I hit the nets with a dragster I would try to scrape some speed off with the wall. Funny cars seem to be safer when they hit the nets. Dave Germain
     
    #9
  10. underby6

    underby6 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm looking into putting dual calipers on our car, idea being to be able to stop the car w/o chutes.

    Brandon Booher
    NHRA TAD #35
     
    #10
  11. Dave Tuttle

    Dave Tuttle New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Eakins and Niver Crash Compaison

    Thanks to Randy Goodwin for posting that link to Randy Eakins, Pomona Crash. I heard about it at the time, but didn't think much of it till now. How did Randy walk away form this one? Here's my take..........

    Eakins had just chased some down for a narrow win, hit just One Chute and about the time he should have been tugging on the Brake Handle, he went for the Back-Up Chute, then the Brakes. That used up prescious time he couldn't afford to waste at Pomona! Chances are, ~IF~ he'd gone for the Brakes instead of the Second Chute and didn't get the Car Bouncing, He may have avoided the Sand Box all together.

    Judging by the Cloud of Black Suit coming form the Right Rear Wheel as he went by the turn off, (somewhere over 100 MPH) that car DID HAVE Carbon/Carbon Brakes. I've watched enough Formula-1 Races recently to realize, "That Ain't Clutch Dust!"

    He was aware that he'd just won a close race and there was someone in the other lane, so he elected to keep the car over in the Left Lane and but it in the Sand Trap Centered in that Lane. The Sand probably Scrubbed Off a good 30 to 40 MPH before he hit the Net and it instantly Snapped the Front Half of the Chassis off around the first set of Ladders Behind the Front Wheels, Around the Middle of the Fuel Tank I'd guess. The Front End shot back and over the Left side of the Car for the simple reason, that the Net was Shorter on that side, so it was streatched tighter.

    Because he went into the Net over to the Left Side the Broken Off Section of the Chassis went to the side, it didn't rebound back into the Roll Cage and Safety Cell area he was in. That alone was the critical difference that made this Crash Servivable.

    I'm Outa Space! To Be Continued..............
    ~Dave Tuttle~
     
    #11
  12. Dave Tuttle

    Dave Tuttle New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Eakins and Niver Crash Compaison Continued.......


    Ok, Now that I've got a fresh page, here's what I gathered on the Niver Crash Footage. What I saw around Midnite that fateful day, was shot by a spectator with a Hand Held Camera in the Grandstands. What he got of the Crash itself wasn't that great, since everyone in the Stands Jumped to their Feet as it happened! The guy who shot it had enough sence though, to keep the Camera rolling and record the Live Feed they put up on the Big Screen, Live As It Happened at The Track!

    As the dust cleared, you could clearly see on the Big Screen, two of the Safety Safari Crew attending to Mark just seconds after he stopped moving. One of the Crew worked on Mark, while the other Dashed back off screen a couple times for more equipment. There was something blocking the straight on shot from in front of the upright car that I figured out was the Front Half of the Chassis. The Car had Kinked at the Foot Box and I realized that was the Fuel Line running straight up for about 6 feet. You could also see the Huge Hole in the Net Behind the Car!

    About that time, the Video Crew had the Replay ready, which is what you probably saw on the Broadcast. The Come From Behind Win into The Final Round! The Chutes Failing, followed by a Slow Motion Shot of the Car going into the Sand Trap. This made it hard to judge how fast he was going.

    Unlike Randy Eakins Pomona incident, Mark knew he Blew By Sean Cowie and had the whole Shut Off Area to himself, so he chose to center the car in the Middle of the Net and Drove it Straight In. Text Book Decision for a Veteran Driver of 30 Years you'd think, Right? This should have given the Net the best chance of doing its job, but judging by the Chassis Damage compaired to Eakins, Mark was going much faster!

    This is where it gets ugly. The Front View showed the Car Skipping across the Sand Trap like a Flat Stone Across a Pond! The Net grabbs the Front of the Chassis and Folds it Backwards as the whole mess disapears in the Cloud of Dust. If you watch closely though, you notice that the Front Wheels suddenly change direction in a very rapid motion and head back in the opposite direction. That's when it was Game Over!

    What happened different from Randy Eakins Crash was the additional speed he hit the Net at caused it to Streatch to the Point Of Failure. Where the Tubing Poked Through the Net, it caused the Net to Streatch in a way the let the Chassis Slip Through a few Broken Strands at first. Since the Net couldn't wrap around the Car, it went through it like a Knife! Because the Front End was still tangled in the Net and he hit it Straigh On, when the Net Failed it acted like a Huge Sling Shot and Flung everything Straight Back at the Cars Safety Cell. As Sir Isac Newton said, "To Every Action, There is an Equal and Opposite Reaction" This one took from us a good friend, one Hell of a Craftsman and the "Little Guy" you couldn't help yourself from Cheering for when he was having a Good Day at the Races!

    You know it's bad when they have to stop the Event and let the Police and Coroner take their sweet time to make a full report. In case you haven't noticed yet, its standard practice, when there if a fatality at a Big Event like this, they Air Lift the Victom outa there and Pronounce them DOA at the Hospital. "Sweep Up The Mess And Fire The Next Pair!" I heard that the list of his injuries prevented NHRA from doing this. From what I figured out, I promis you this, HE DIDN'T SUFFER!

    Could have this been avoided with Standard Steel Brakes? Maybe, with the right parts in near new condition. Parts most of you probably wouldn't know were that much better.

    Are Carbon Brakes the Answer?............. I've seen too many T/F Cars saved from this fate to think otherwise.

    Is a Back Up Chute Anchor Necessary?............. Damn Right! That's Forward Thinking in my book! If this happens again, that'll become Manditory Too!

    Is the Re-Designed Sand Trap Better?....... Like Graham said, In a lot of cases, YES, But maybe not for everybody. We really don't know till this shit happens.

    IMHO-I wonder if the distance from the Sand to the First Net is Different, now there's a Second Net?

    Who's Idea was it to fill those 100 Gallon Barrels at the End of the Sand Trap with DIRT and NOT WATER? That's one new feature I wish they'd re-think!

    OK, I've been wanting to get that off my chest for a while now. You have my permission to post this elsewhere if it'll help everybody understand what happened and WHY just a bit better.

    Over & Out For Now!! ~Dave Tuttle~
     
    #12
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  13. wildman

    wildman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    many shapes and sizes? uh... no... not really

    What cars end up in the sand trap and net? Alcohol funny cars / dragsters.... fuel funny cars / dragsters. Yes, the occasional prostock or promod get there but VERY rarely. (a couple prostock bikes too I suppose). But, you NEVER see a super gas or comp car in the net. You design the system for the most likely use. A net solidly attached to a concrete wall is, as was mentioned, a slingshot. The net is a good idea, but you HAVE TO HAVE some type of arrestor system. Can you imagine stopping an F16 with a solidly attached net? Wouldn't be pretty. Having said that, why not use arrestor cables like they do on air craft carriers? This technology is VERY well established. Just my .02
     
    #13
  14. DOUG GORDON

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marks speed

    I was in the pair of cars that ran right in front of Mark. I was at the finish line turn off when he went by into the net. He had slowed the car down alot. It is hard to judge real speed but I would say he was going no faster than 60 or 70mph. I bet if he had asphalt all the way to the net instead of hard sand he probably would have just about had it stopped. From the video I would think that Randy was actually going faster than Mark. I could be wrong but I had heard that there was a dent in the roll cage on Randy car from that crash.
    Doug Gordon
     
    #14
  15. Pat McGill

    Pat McGill Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cost?

    What would it cost the NHRA and/or tracks to run the Alky cars to 1000' at divisionals?


    On a totally different note: I find it odd that the tracks we usually worry about being substandard (divisional-only venues) have performed quite well recently, but the high-end joints (national event venues) have had issues.
     
    #15
  16. Jim Peters

    Jim Peters New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pomona mud pits

    For one how far did they shorten the Seattle track 250 feet or more? So tear up the asphalt add dirt and 2 nets, was that really a great Idea?! I don't think so in any way shape or form! I have stopped more than once without chutes and with steel brakes. This carbon brake thing really sucks for the poor guy. Then you want the racer to change all 4 corners right NOW? How about the backs now, and the fronts for next year? The brakes in case you forgot already, were not the only issue in the last tragic and fatal wreck. My car passed tech a week ago now it won't. So for $6000 in the middle of the season you can take your car out agian. Whats going to happen to other racers like myself, not to mention the tracks when they have no cars to put in competion due to these extreme measures? I lost every sponsor I had due to the economics right now, and I want to race my car. WHAT THE :mad:
     
    #16
  17. Bill Naves

    Bill Naves Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    huh?

    BREAKING NEWS --- NHRA’S TECH DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES "AMENDMENTS TO RULEBOOK
    As part of its continuing efforts to enhance safety, NHRA announced today that rear carbon fiber brake rotors and pads will be mandatory for Top Fuel Dragsters, Funny Cars, Top Alcohol Dragsters and Top Alcohol Funny Cars effective July 21, 2010, and front carbon fiber brakes will be mandatory for Funny Cars and Top Alcohol Funny Cars by August 11, 2010. The vast majority of vehicles in these classes already use this equipment."
    Makes me wonder if he knows about the rest of us that don't run the Big Show..Strange was out of stock of some of the parts on Tuesday,because" we have been inundated with orders due to the rule changes"....vast majority huh?
     
    #17
  18. SNAPPY

    SNAPPY TAFC

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    !000 ft

    Shorten the tracks to 1000 ft like Clint said.
    1 Immediate safety enhancement for ALL classes.
    2 No cost to car owners
    3 No cost to tracks
    4 No cost to NHRA

    Short shutdowns are a lot of the problem

    Rule changes are one thing but 7 days to change both ends of your race car is crazy!
    We are still waiting on some parts (Tues 7/27) and ordered them the next morning after the rules change!!
     
    #18
  19. Bill Naves

    Bill Naves Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    right

    so you are not one of the vast majority either?
    fear not..there are 16 cars ,nationwide, to fill the needed positions!AKA the vast majority!
    PS.. Strange is expecting carbon in the next couple days..
     
    #19
  20. nitrodude

    nitrodude Nostalgia Top Fuel

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brandon , When You put two more Calipers on you are moving in the right direction !!!
    Now , Make them a separate system with a second master cyl , and you have the MAX !
    Two separate systems , in case one fails , And TwICE the braking Power with both in operation !
    I have used this on a few dragsters and they do stop without chutes !!
    My old pal Pete Robinson would say , " If you NEED a chute to help you stop , It ain't safe !! He would NEVER use the Chute !!!
     
    #20

Share This Page