NASCAR’s COT Tested Once Again in Horrific Crash

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Chase Hoven writes, Once again, NASCAR’s safety for its drivers and fans has been put to the test.

Once again, NASCAR’s safety for its drivers and fans has been put to the test. An unbelivable crash at Talladega Super Speedway, Alabama on April 26, 2009 put the focus on NASCAR’s new safety rules and protection for its drivers. Carl Edwards, famous for his backflips off of his racecar after winning a race, flipped upside down again, but not after winning a race. After completing all but one of the laps during the Aaron’s 499, Edwards passed Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the lead heading into the final lap. At Talladega, which is over a two mile track, speeds can reach above 200 miles per hour. With the high speeds and the very little time to react, massive crashes occur frequently. But Edwards and Brad Keselowski, who was running second, zoomed to the lead. The two ran single file until the tri-oval, which is about 2000 feet from the finish line. Keselowski went low to pass Edwards, but Edwards pulled down low to block him. The two cars touched, and suddenly, the number 99 Claritan/ Aflac Ford spun around and got airborne. The car, whos rear was off the ground, plowed right into Newman’s car, ripping off the hood. But Carl’s car was out of control flying through the air and heading for the wall. But the car hit the wall in an ackward way, flipping the car upside down, but still in the air. At that moment, the catch fence, which is a fence that protects the fans from the racetrack, was ripped apart when Edwards’ car smashed into. But the fence did its job, throwing Edwards’ car back onto the track on its wheels. Though Carl didn’t make it to the finish line or win the race, he ran across the start/finish line to ‘have fun while he could.’ Edwards was all right, but the catch fence showed the damage. A similar accident happended in 1987 at the same racetrack when Bobby Allison blew a tire and nearly soared in the grandstands. Once again, the catch fence did its job and threw the car back onto the track. Though a section of the fence was ripped away, nobody was seriously injured. A total of eight fans were injured when debris of Edwards’ car hurtled through the catchfence and into the stand. Nobody suistaned major injuries however. But NASCAR’s new car, the COT, did its job. The car’s rollcage (the part which protects the driver in the racecar) held its position throughout the crash. It was amazing that the car was litterally still in one piece, but also that NASCAR’s safety to protect its fans from crashes proved to be vital that day.