Video: Sprint Car Crash Test by CAPE

This will raise some eyebrows in the Sprint Car world. The Center for Advanced Product Evaluation (CAPE), has just released a video of their Sprint Car chassis crash testing which can lead to some conclusions of what happened in several incidents where Sprint Car racers suffered head and neck injuries.

Before people start jumping to conclusions, the Westfield, Indiana based IMMI company manufactures safety equipment, so there is a commercial factor going on here, however… the group is really held in high regard for their extensive and rigorous testing of different products and vehicles in both the safety and environmental areas.

According to the company’s literature, IMMI is the home of the Center for Advanced Product Evaluation (CAPE), which is a facility built specifically for vehicle testing. CAPE provides analytical information to support customer’s most complex decisions on safety equipment.

The testing facility is housed in three climate-controlled buildings, two of which are connected by an 800-foot long track. The main CAPE crash hall houses the calibration lab, two of the three crash sleds and the barrier. Other buildings house the third crash sled, the rollover machine, quasi-static, impact, airbag, pyrotechnic and vibration test centers. The outside track is suitable for vehicle-to-vehicle testing.

One of the recent rounds of testing was designed to support grassroots racers involved in sprint car racing. The result is this video which shows what happens in the event of a sprint car crash. The first set of tests simulates a sprint car hitting another sprint car from behind. The next round of testing shows what happens when a sprint car crashes with it’s halo (top) first. THIS IS WHERE THINGS REALLY GET INTERESTING.

Watch the video here:

This video is worth a million words. It was amazing for us to see the down bars of the sprint car bow from a straight tube to a rounded bar at the moment of impact. The cabin area of the sprint car compacted beyond what we believed was possible. In the end, we were stunned by the slow motion video that captured the entire crash in agonizing detail.


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About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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