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Mint 400 Crash - Race Vehicle 1035


Rescue Director
I mentioned in the injury thread that there was some things we saw on the 1035 car that caused us to wonder how the injuries to the Driver had occurred. While we are continuing to gather information on what specifically broke in the car, we do know a little more about the crash and injuries sustained. I have been in contact with the car owner as well as the driver several times this week and they are anxious as well to determine the causes.

The 1035 car was approaching mile 58 on the course. The for an unknown reason rolled in an end over end crash that then transitioned to a barrel roll striking down on the drivers side and then coming to rest on their roof. The co-driver believes they rolled 3 times. there was a small fire once the car was inverted that was extinguished by other racers that were disabled at the same location.

The driver lost consciousness during the rollover.

Rescue crews made the determination to fly him to UMC in Las Vegas. He was released late that evening with a partial C7 fracture with no deficits. He is recovering at home.

Initial look at the helmet showed the helmet was cracked all the way through and the internal padding was crushed showing significant impact. This was a relatively new and current certified helmet. The helmet did not fail in anyway and the damage while significant shows that it did its job.


The helmet damage was not from roll bar impact and instead was from impact with the ground outside the vehicle. From the front looking on at the car once it was up righted, you could see that both seats had shifted to the drivers side approximately 4 to 5 inches from center allowing the drivers side seat to actually stick outside the race vehicle. These were high quality Sparco seats on a experienced chassis fabricator. There was also a broken tube in the drivers door section indicating a very significant impact to that side of the Chassis.

What we are working with the team on to understand is a few things:

How are the seats mounted and what kind of tabs are used on the seat and chassis.

How are the belts mounted? BITD has become a SFI member this year. Seat belt mounting is one of the items that our tech department is working with racers to make sure they are compliant with. SFI mounting is very detailed and tested.

We are also looking at the window nets also.

Anyway - That is what is going on with this crash as I know many asked and were curious. I believe that sharing knowledge like this allows everyone to look at their cars and always try and build the better mousetrap!

Klaus - I wonder if maybe we can have some sort of after accident review portion of accidents that maybe others would be willing to share what they find on their cars that could continue to improve for all racers? However I am sure if we put it in the safety section it may be overlooked. Even I dont visit that one enough with everything else going on.


Well-Known Member
That impact is inane. Seeing a helmet like that is mind blowing. Seats breaking out of their mounts happen in major crashes. We had it happen to one of our 516's in the 90's.



Well-Known Member
That's a necksgen hnr. And it looks like it had done its job. I have seen some crazy crashes in loors with them and have used mine a few times. They are legit.


Well-Known Member
God damn that is a hard knock

Glad the dude's alive and will recover.

C7 injuries on side impacts usually mean 5-6Gs or more.

It's brutal.


Well-Known Member
Well he now only has 8 life's left .Good thing his arms didn't come out of car seen that happen in Barstow it was quite ugly .


Well-Known Member
If the seats moved 5", there is serious design issue with the seat mounts. If the tabs broke, there is a serious welder issue. That helmet damage points out that that guy is seriously lucky (and good on him for wearing proper safety gear!) Valium did you look to see if the seats had upper mounts as well as bottom mounts?


Rescue Director
If the seats moved 5", there is serious design issue with the seat mounts. If the tabs broke, there is a serious welder issue. That helmet damage points out that that guy is seriously lucky (and good on him for wearing proper safety gear!) Valium did you look to see if the seats had upper mounts as well as bottom mounts?
I was not able to however the team is examining all of that and going to report back on what specifically gave way so we can communicate and have people check their cars.

David Nehrbass

Motorsports Safety Solutions


Well-Known Member
I'm guessing the seats moved because they were on these brackets. I had a bad crash last year, and our Momo seats crushed similar brackets down almost 3 inches. We figured it was by design and probably saved our backs. But then our belts and HNRs were loose for the rest of the crash, which included several more rolls.

Bdub 1020

Well-Known Member
What chasis is the car. We had several crazy wrecks and rolls and our Jimco only needed some tubing replaced. That's crazy.


Well-Known Member
good thing for a window net being in there. Even with a seat in place and belts tight heads still go out them.
The seats themselves amaze me with no rear mount how they don't break, as does how much the aluminum sprint car seats get moved around and spread from there crashes also.

Iam sure they vertebra damage came from the loose belts and them moving over his neck as his body was trying to slip under/side of them. If there was lots of slack his helmet kept him from sliding under. The other shoulder or both may have had the belts slip off the side also with the varying directions. Sternum straps help against that. I don't rember, but some said they broke sternums, but I thought they kept the belts together in forward impacts to keep from shoulders rolling back and damaging it that ways as a pulling apart???
If it hasn't been dismantled and if belts were released not loosened put someone the same size in seat to see the slack. Be worth even putting back together. Also if both seats moved how was co drivers belts and how did they feel in the crash? Tight, or tight loose with a slack whip? Even pressure? Pressure on shoulder and belt position wont be as noticeable/memorable with the nexgen shoulder plates.

One of my friends i grew up racing with died in a modified crash when we were like 19. If I remember one of the things they said was a factor was in the endos it moved the bar forward from the impacts and put slack in his belts allowing him to move around more and hit his head on bars. So don't forget roll bar padding. But so many cars have bars close enough that youll move into them even tight. Just watch in car crash slow motion. To many people forget the dangers and things that could happen and get into things thinking there 100% safe no risk.


Active Member
Perhaps the seats were mounted on tall/long tabs that deformed and allowed the movement? I only suggest as I have seen some seats mounted in this fashion before.


Well-Known Member
If the seats moved 5", there is serious design issue with the seat mounts. If the tabs broke, there is a serious welder issue. That helmet damage points out that that guy is seriously lucky (and good on him for wearing proper safety gear!) Valium did you look to see if the seats had upper mounts as well as bottom mounts?
Bro, we have Sparco seats mounted with a similar tab as posted by Powerbox, we made it ourselves and it is 1/8" thick with only 2 holes each side for the seat mount bolt. It is welded to a 1" DOM tube frame below the seat. I am curious to your statement of "if the seats had upper mounts as well as bottom mounts?" I may be totally naive here but what upper mounts are you referring to? As far as I know there are no upper mounting points on the EVO II seats?? Can you please enlighten me as I'm sure this will help out many more teams as to where the upper mounts are located. I did a quick google search and came up with nothing. I would like to be safer rather than sorry!

Mark Newhan

Well-Known Member
In a bad crash any seat or seat mounting solution can fail. I've seen suspension seat frames fail many times. In either case, the energy absorbed is probably a good thing. The scary part of this situation is that the drivers head hit the terrain.

Jeff Furrier

Well-Known Member
How about some pictures of what we're actually talking about?

Both seats moved 4 or 5 inches, but didn't break out? Seems odd, I bet there's something pretty obvious.

Head containment style seats and side nets(different than window nets) would help side movement

The seat brackets are designed to bend, you want them to give before tearing out of the car. The energy absorbed by the seat brackets is sort of the last line of defense before serious energy...sort of a crush zone if you will.

There are different types of brackets sold by Sparco, Momo, and a bracket we(UPR) build that s heavier gauge for off road. They all work fine, the lighter weight brackets(as shown) are more for road racing, but work fine for off road as they are also FIA tested with the respective seats.

An FIA rated seat does not need to be mounted at the back, its been tested and will not break before you do. If you are using an NRG or other Chinee seat, they have not been tested and a back brace probably isnt a bad idea.

As stated, seat belts and mounting positions are a huge factor. I'd bet over half the off road cars we look at have improperly mounted belts.

Off road cars tend to get built from the outside in, but they should be built from the inside out to give the drivers more space. The major change in the NASCAR Car of Tomorrow from the traditional design was the larger driver compartment and crush zones.


Capt. Hindsight
This thread has a lot of personal interest for me. During our last race, I had a Beard Superseat frame break on one side (Passenger seat/outer side). The horizontal bottom tube where the tabs are welded broke out at the factory welds front and rear. The other side was still intact. This was not a result of a crash, but normal "wear and tear." I think it had been a year since I'd really inspected the seat frames. Thank goodness a serious crash did not occur while this was weakened like this.

I'm going to replace the lower tubing on the seat frame, which is about 1/2" presently, with 1" tubing on both my seat's lower frame rails so this doesn't happen again. We are also installing Kartek seat sliders now, which we didn't have before.

Following this thread closely...

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk


Well-Known Member
As far as the mounts go, I know many of the non-suspension seats have a boss in the upper area around the shoulder height to attach an upper mount. I believe all the aluminum seats used in sprint cars do this. I was curious if the seat racked over and that is where the upper body movement came from. The damage to the helmet is scary as it is obvious it came into contact with something. My guess is we are talking about millimeters from horrible brain injury in this event. The head should not have had that kind of impact unless there is a design flaw somewhere in the seat location/mounting. The cage held up, helmet should have ben a air space. My initial assumption is the head and shoulders made contact with the ground on a side hit which leads me to think the upper body has moved too much.