Racing Episode 03
U.S. Army Racing Teams discuss the dangers they face on the job.
I like to drive on the edge, I like when the front end is in the air and it’s scary fast.
It’s very very dangerous; when you have a failure of a wing or a tire or a wheel or something, he’s definitely gonna crash.
These cars are very tight. Once you’re equipped and you have your fire suit on, everything in here is meant for one reason: in a crash it’s to keep you from being able to move around. Your helmet’s on, there’s not that much motion.
I’m not gonna put a race car out there on the race track that’s unsafe. He can get in that car 100% and feel safe, and he can go out and win races.
Just the structure of things, let’s say your helmet, things like that. Making sure they’re sized right, they fit right, they feel right, you’re comfortable. The equipment that I wear is fire retardant.
That means that it won’t catch on fire. It’ll burn, it’ll melt, but it won’t flame up and catch on fire. The most dangerous part for everybody is me coming in. But, when I come in, they’re running out in front of a car that’s running 45 miles an hour.
Occasionally the throttle will stick wide open, and when you’re going 325 miles an hour and you can’t shut it off, it’s a bit of a panic.
Even if the driver’s knocked out and it goes through the finish line, shoots will come out, the fuel system will shut off, and the engine will shut off all by itself.
The engines are 8000 horsepower and ever since big daddy Don Garless decided to put an engine behind us he saved a lot of driver’s lives.
We have restraints all over this thing. This restraint is what we call our blower restraint. It keeps the parts from flying onto the track. The spark plugs are covered by a titanium shield.
We run an engine diaper on the car, it wraps the whole bottom of the engine. Uh, we try and stay a safe distance behind the car when the car leaves the starting line, just in case there is an explosion, but…
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