NASCAR completed a crash test of its new Next Gen car at Talladega Superspeedway last week and has now submitted the data from the test to a medical board for further review.
The NASCAR Next Gen crash test was completed using a spec car driven by a robot and fitted with a sensor-laden crash test dummy. Biomechanical engineers and medical experts will now pore over the data from the crash and study how the dummy reacted to the forces involved.
The medical panel reviewing the crash test data includes of Dr. James Raddin, who took part in the investigation of the death of the late Dale Earnhardt, as well as Dr. Jeff Crandall, an engineering consultant with the NFL. Further insight will be provided by Dr. Barry Myers, a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University and Dr. Joel Stitzel, the chair of biomedical engineering at Wake Forest Baptist Health.
“NASCAR competition officials confirmed the data is being studied and will not comment on the test and its formal findings until complete,” the sanctioning body said in a statement.
The submission of the crash test data to a medical board comes amid rumors that NASCAR’s Next Gen car had failed preliminary crash tests. However NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, Scott Miller, denied the rumors during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday and said the test went as expected.
“We see absolutely nothing in the data that’s alarming, but we want to have a comprehensive report, and I have no idea how all of the rumors started about that it didn’t go well, because it did go well,” Miller said. “So that’s where we are, and hopefully we can get that report out.”
Miller was also asked by SiriusXM NASCAR Radio if the Next Gen car is still on track for a competition debut at Daytona next February – to which he replied “absolutely.” No matter what the findings of the medical review board are, then, it seems as though the NASCAR Next Gen will be race-ready for next year’s Daytona 500.