NHRA safety update for Top Fuel Cars

Over at the NHRA.com site, one of my favorites, I read that the NHRA Technical Services is making all Top Fuel cars run what they’re calling the “Electrimotion Safety Shutoff Controller”. This new rule will be in effect for the 2009 NHRA Drag Race season.

The Electrimotion Safety Shutoff Controller was designed by Dave Leahy of Electrimotion of Delaware, Ohio. Electrimotion.com has a very detailed explanation of what the box does detailed on his website in Adobe pdf form. Download the info here: Drag Race Safety Device info. The basics are that the device will:

  1. Sense manifold burst panel failure
  2. Activates the fuel shutoff,
  3. Shuts off ignition, and
  4. Deploys parachutes

Pretty cool, but am I the only one that’s thinking, “Its about time!” I almost can’t watch drag racing since the death of Eric Medlen. I never knew him, but he seemed like a nice guy and as part of the Force Racing team, I always routed for him. Then John Force got seriously hurt and next Scott Kalitta died. I don’t know all the facts, but shortening the track wouldn’t have saved Scott. Shutting off the fuel and ignition and deploying the chutes might have giving him a fighting chance.

Do you agree?