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Killed in a fiery drag racing crash, his car had an engine blowup that made the body fly off, and the car keep petering on and crashed into the wall at the end and exploded upon impact.

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A very sad day for drag racing, and motorsport. I logged on to a drag racing forum I visit and read the headline "Scott Kalitta Succumbs To Injuries" and it hit me like a tonne of bricks. I hadn't even heard about the accident happening.

I'll never forget the Boxing Day event here in Australia a couple of years ago when Scott re-set the Aussie Top Fuel speed and ET records.

Here's footage of the incident

http://youtube.com/watch?v=DziJdGwFQjU

RIP Scott.

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Oh my god...I...that...wow. I really don't know. That video. Oh my god.

RIP Scott. This is just horrible, horrible news. First Eric Medlen, now Scott. I can't believe it. I just can't believe it. This is just such a sad day. I guess making cars that go 330 mph safe is just...so hard. I know they do the best they can, but damn. This is just so bad.

RIP, and condolences to his family, friends, fans, and the NHRA community. :(

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I don't watch as much NHRA as I'd like to (too busy), but is it just me or does the sand trap at the end of the circuit look awful short? Can't the NHRA mandate a longer sand trap? I understand it was a freak accident, but you gotta be prepared for those kinds of things...

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I don't watch as much NHRA as I'd like to (too busy), but is it just me or does the sand trap at the end of the circuit look awful short? Can't the NHRA mandate a longer sand trap? I understand it was a freak accident, but you gotta be prepared for those kinds of things...

One theroy I've read about what happened was the sand trap acted almost like a ramp, launching him into the crane camera and the concrete wall behind the catch net.

Why there's a concrete wall behind the catch net is anyones guess.

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That's horrendous.... I sometimes watch the NHRA when it's on late night TV, although I can't say I follow it. I'm truely sorry for everybody concerned :(

Why the hell was there a concrete wall there anyway

Edited by Der Kaiser

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I wonder if a massive amount of Styrofoam after the sand trap before the fence would make a difference. It worked here. Although the car was going slower, and face it, a big ol' stock car is safer than a drag racer where the body work can tear off and nothing is around the driver, but I'd bet if there was a lot more Styrofoam than even in that incident, it might make a difference. Then again, the NHRA will get slaughtered by the hippies for killing a lot of trees. Oh well, rather kill trees than kill humans.

The concrete wall baffles me, too. The accident could've had a better outcome had the car just gone through the fence and rolled over a few more times. I'm not sure.

I guess it's not our place to speculate, though. It's in the hands of the NHRA. The more important thing is that we lost a really good guy.

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I don't pay much attention to all these sports, but its real sad to hear fatal accidents still occuring in motorsports in America. Safety must be given the top priority, like it or not or else they are going to loose some good guys like him to these accidents.

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I don't pay much attention to all these sports, but its real sad to hear fatal accidents still occuring in motorsports in America. Safety must be given the top priority, like it or not or else they are going to loose some good guys like him to these accidents.

I know safety is the top priority in NHRA drag racing. The problem is, when you have an 8000 hp (not a typo, I mean 8000) car that is going 330 mph (again, no typo) at the end of a 1/4-mile (yes, 1/4-mile), it's really hard to keep it safe in these instances. Fatalities are still very rare in American motorsport; it is a misconception that it is dangerous to race here. There are many cases of terrible wrecks in drag racing, scattered all over YouTube, and many drivers walk away unscathed. However, it still is a problem that these freak accidents can lead to something so much worse. John Force, Ford, and the NHRA were working very hard on a new car after Eric Medlen passed away last year, but I am not sure what has come of the car or when it will be ready. The NHRA has, in some ways, failed to match safety development to the rate of performance increase, and that's killer.

However, just to clear up the generalization about American racing still being dangerous, all other American series have taken great strides in making the racing a much safer product. There have been no fatalities in NASCAR since 2001, and no serious injuries since 2003, thanks to developments like the SAFER barrier, as well as the mandation of the HANS device. Now, with the COT, it is almost safe to say we will never see another in-race NASCAR fatality. Watch the Michael McDowell wreck I posted a few months ago; if the COT and SAFER can protect in that, they can protect in anything. The IRL has made huge strides, as well. Considered a very, very dangerous formula for a while, look at Dario Franchitti's flips in 2007. The one at Michigan could've killed a year earlier, but it didn't. I can't say exactly what safety developments have been made, because I don't know, but they're working, and that's what counts. It isn't fair to say the American racing world is dangerous. The problem was, US racing has been about keeping it affordable for a very long time, and making these developments took a toll financially. It's a shame it took fatalities to open the eyes of NASCAR, IRL, and CART, but the point is they have caught up.

The NHRA will catch up, too. Billionaire Bruton Smith owns many of the facilities they race at, and if you don't think he's willing to spend money to make sure the safety improves, you're out of your mind. Force and Ford are still working hard, but it is better to take the time and make a great product than to rush it and end up exactly where they started. I hope the drag racing scene can become safer again, as it is very unfortunate to see two deaths in a very short period of time. They have the financial resources to do it, and it will be done. This won't happen again. They can't let it. It is a shame they weren't prepared, but again, it's just like Dale Earnhardt's death. It was a freak accident because his seat belt ripped, but they needed to be prepared for that, and they weren't. Kalitta was unconcious after the explosion, hence he could not slow down before hitting the wall. We hear of many fatalities in rally racing, as well. I don't follow rally, so I don't know how to solve the problem, but it has to be a top priority.

The one thing that does bother me is American local racing, the racing I love most. The budgets are so low, everyone is just trying to break even, and it makes it really hard to improve safety there. I still think that a few track owners need to get with the program, because many facilities, like the ones I've raced at, are extremely safe. Still, some lag behind, and it a lot of times it's just a case of money.

At the end of the day, we can beat this subject to death, speculating on why this happened and what everyone did wrong. However, the fact is, the Kalitta family and the NHRA family have been hit with a tragedy, and the important part is to just let the people in charge continue to work towards their goal of safer racing. I'm sure that they can achieve it.

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Reports say that his car went over the concrete wall and into the crane at the end of the track...

Looks like the NHRA will not return to Englishtown if they do not fix the runoff area.

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Reports say that his car went over the concrete wall and into the crane at the end of the track...

Looks like the NHRA will not return to Englishtown if they do not fix the runoff area.

Looks like a freak accident then, is it?

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Looks like a freak accident then, is it?

Yeah. The explosion knocked him unconscious, hence he didn't slow down at all. That was the freak part. Launching over the wall was kind of weird, too.

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Yeah. The explosion knocked him unconscious, hence he didn't slow down at all. That was the freak part. Launching over the wall was kind of weird, too.

I think the whole saftey has to be revamped. Could use a little bit of Charlie Whiting help though.

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I think the whole saftey has to be revamped. Could use a little bit of Charlie Whiting help though.

They're currently working on that, but it will take a few years to develop everything. I think they know what they're doing, though.

There has to be something as far as fire prevention, though. It burnt the parachute, hence he couldn't slow down even when that was deployed. I also think the bodywork needs to be more secure. I'm still in favor of longer runoff room and a whole hell of a lot of Styrofoam before the wall.

Edited by Eric

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They're currently working on that, but it will take a few years to develop everything. I think they know what they're doing, though.

There has to be something as far as fire prevention, though. It burnt the parachute, hence he couldn't slow down even when that was deployed. I also think the bodywork needs to be more secure. I'm still in favor of longer runoff room and a whole hell of a lot of Styrofoam before the wall.

Though I am not qualified to comment on such things, I should point out some of the things in American Motorsports look a bit too uncivilized .

I really hope they make a leap in saftey concerned with Drag racing etc.

Edited by abbas_gear

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Though I am not qualified to comment on such things, I should point out some of the things in American Motorsports look a bit too uncivilized .

I really hope they make a leap in saftey concerned with Drag racing etc.

Please elaborate.

Yeah, I think they will.

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Please elaborate.

Yeah, I think they will.

In my personal opinon I think the saftey standards are too low for the speeds and horse power they are achiving. Forget amateur racing, I am talking about serious stuffs. I don't really call for a manslaughter equiry but they should know what to keep and what not to keep near the track incase they anything goes wrong. I hope this loss contrubutes something great for future safety.

Edited by abbas_gear

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In my personal opinon I think the saftey standards are too low for the speeds and horse power they are achiving. Forget amateur racing, I am talking about serious stuffs. I don't really call for a manslaughter equiry but they should know what to keep and what not to keep near the track incase they anything goes wrong. I hope this loss contrubutes something great for future safety.

That's quite the misconception you've got there. It may have taken American racing a few more years to fix their problems, but I think other than drag racing, the professional racing scene is on par with the standards they need to be meeting.

With the "keeping things near the track," the crane is there because it has a TV camera on it. You need a head on angle for a drag race usually. The catchfence was supposed to stop his car from hitting it. He flew over it. That does need to be fixed.

NASCAR

The CoT has improved safety features over the older car.[2] The driver's seat has been moved four inches to the right, the roll cage has been shifted three inches to the rear, and the car is two inches taller and four inches wider.[2] Larger crumple zones are built into the car on both sides, ensuring even more protection. The splitter is a piece of fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) used on the bottom front of the car to produce downforce, replacing the valence. The car's exhaust runs through the body, and exits on the right side, which diverts heat away from the driver.[2] The fuel cell is stronger, and has a smaller capacity (17
Edited by Eric

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Though I am not qualified to comment on such things, I should point out some of the things in American Motorsports look a bit too uncivilized .

I really hope they make a leap in saftey concerned with Drag racing etc.

So in 2005 when Ralf Schumacher was left sitting in the middle of turn 13 at Indy , F1 safety is that much better , it took them minutes to get there , if you watch a nascar or Indy car race they are on the job in seconds , hell our local dirt track has better response then they did in 2005 .

America is not lagging behind anyone they have different rules for their cars and racing .

If you ask me if F1 doesn't watch out they will become "spec" racing as Indy cars have done .

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