An article in yesterday's Washington Post highlighted safety measures implemented by NASCAR® drivers and pit crews to prevent deadly injuries on the track. The need for such precautions – specifically wearing DuPont™ Kevlar® and Nomex® – is accentuated by recent injuries to NASCAR® Dale Earnhardt, Jr. that, although traumatic, will not sideline him for this weekend's race.
"As recent as the 1960s – it wasn't particularly uncommon for drivers to die by fire. It was a driver's biggest nightmare, actually, to have the fuel tank explode in a crash and die before he could climb out of the car. But the fuel cell was invented and it prevents the tank from rupturing in an accident. The safety revolution didn't stop there, either," the article said.
"Now, drivers wear helmets of glass and carbon and DuPont™ Kevlar®. They wear suits of Nomex®, a special fire-retardant material made by DuPont that doesn't burn, doesn't melt, doesn't support combustion. The driver's suit, his gloves, socks and especially his shoes are woven with Nomex®, to the point a driver can be protected for up to 40 seconds even though a gasoline's fire burns between 1,800 and 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. The Nomex® and Kevlar® are mandatory. Pit crew members wear the same stuff," it said.
For more information on kevlar, click here.