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NASCAR Cup: Kyle Larson’s Talladega crash analyzed

during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway on May 6, 2019 in Dover, Delaware.

By AMANDA VINCENT

According to a NASCAR-conducted study, Kyle Larson’s No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet got airborne in a crash at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on the final lap of the Geico 500 on April 28 because of damage to the right-front fender of the car. Estimates have Larson’s car going about 180 mph when it went airborne and flipped several times.

The last lap crash also involved David Ragan and William Byron. Byron’s No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet made contact with Larson’s car, sending it airborne, after Byron’s car hit the wall after being forced up the race track by Ragan in the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford. None of the drivers were injured. The contact between Byron’s car caused Larson’s fender damage.

“Engineers created a model that simulated that damage to the rear of the right front wheel opening,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation John Probst said, as quoted in an NBC Sports article. “The results of that effectively showed us that when they had that damage, there is about a 70 mph reduction in the liftoff speed, which kind of put us in the 180-190 mph range. Our conclusion is the reason the car got off the ground is from the contact with (Byron’s) car that led to the spin to the right.”

The roof flaps on Larson’s car deployed, but air packed under the car, lifting it off the ground. According to Probst, wind tunnel testing of the aerodynamic rules package used at Talladega showed that an undamaged car shouldn’t get airborne at speeds under 250 mph.

Multiple people from NASCAR spent “several days” researching Larson’s crash at Talladega by watching replays and studying the No. 42 car’s incident data recorder and computer simulations of the incident, Probst said. Race teams were provided with the findings.

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Posted by on May 24, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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