• Mar 8th 2010 at 7:25PM
  • 16
Click above to view the video after the jump

If you were following the news coming out of Infineon this weekend during the Sears Pointless 24 Hours of LeMons race, you might've heard about a nasty crash involving the ONSET Cavalier.

Going into turn 11 at about 1 PM on Saturday, the wagon – an easy top ten contender – squeezed through an opening on the back straight before being tapped on the left rear, sent into a wall and then flipped. The Cavalier slid well over 100 feet before coming to a rest mid-track and just as the driver was extracting himself from the car, the red wagon burst into flames.

Although he was able to remove his harnesses and wiggle his way out the window, the driver did suffer from a back injury resulting in two vertebrae surgeries carried out on Saturday and Sunday. We've gotten word from a close friend of Tyler that he's recovering and doing well, and we wouldn't be surprised to hear that LeMons could begin requiring HANS devices for future races.

After the jump we've got two videos of the wreck: One from inside the ONSET car and another from a vehicle traveling further back in the pack. Both are very telling and further proof that LeMons' strict safety requirements work, even in $500 crap can racers.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds like the engine was still running after he came to a rest, then clunked out and caught fire. If it was, I'm impressed!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whoever put that thing on to of that green car should be ashamed of themselves.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A: Kind of the point of Lemons racing.
        B: You never saw Outlaw cars?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Driver's are required to wear neck braces to keep your helmet from moving around too much. Pretty darn effective to! I can hardly move at all once strapped in a car! That's how it should be.

      I'm very curious about where his spine injury occurred.
      • 5 Years Ago
      We were working in one of the shops and decided for our lunch break to go watch the epicness of Lemons at Turn 11. Literally 2 minutes after we got there I saw the car sliding on its roof, at first I thought it was a joke but after the driver got out of the car and it burst into flames I knew it wasn't. Good luck on recovery to the guy!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sears Pointless? Is that a weak attempt at putting the track down?

      Also, I don't understand what's so special about this accident. There are club races with far worse accidents all the time. Heck, local dirt track cars wreck harder than this.

      And that "wing" on top of that green car...that should have been able to fly. What kind of idiot decided to put that thing on a car? It's surely a gimmick much like this series seems to be. But it sure looks like fun!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like Carl Edwards tagged him.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess the cracked vertebrae came with the initial wall hit. Would a HANS be needed to prevent that, or just better seats/harnesses?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The previous comment is pure nonsense. A HANS device would *absolutely* prevented or lessen the injury suffered. Watch his head twist right and lurch at impact. That would have been prevented with HANS.

        It is not only to prevent basal skull fractures (by inhibiting the forward "snap") but also vertebrae injuries from lateral forces.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Tom Winch

        Don't the donuts limit neck movement?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @787B - I think you are correct. Great icon & name also. I own and drive an RX-7 GT-2 car with a 13B motor. The 787B ruled back in the day.

        @Paul - I don't think you know what you're talking about. The HANS is designed principally to prevent basal skull fractures. It is also designed to limit lateral movement, but your head can still move from side to side with a HANS device. The full containment seat and side nets are there to limit side to side movement. As for the twisting of the neck, again, that's not what the HANS is designed for although there is limited head twisting with the HANS. Check out


        "A Head & Neck Restraint (H&NR) is basically an extension to your helmet which protects your neck in a collision. It lowers the strain on your neck to a level that hopefully avoids a basilar skull fracture. Once you secure your body in a car with a harness then your head is still 'floating' and unrestrained (except by your neck!). You are also wearing a helmet which adds mass to the already substantial mass of your head. Given the body is restrained by harnesses and your head is only restrained by your neck then the neck will have a serious load placed on it in a front or side impact. Remember, your harnesses need to support 3000lbs of force. Your neck can't do that. A Head and Neck restraint is designed to absorb that energy so the neck load is reduced substantially.

        An estimated 50% of racing deaths are caused by basilar skull fractures. The Isaac devices manufacturer claims that this type of injury occurs at 4000 newtons or 900 pounds of force on your neck. All certified H&NR's will limit the load on your neck to less than this in a 70G impact. (edit: in late 2007 the SFI 38.1 allowable neck tension limit was reduced to 3200 Newtons)"

        You can also read the test standards for FIA 8858 and SFI 38.1 regarding HANS devices at that website. The standard for testing is a 30 degree frontal impact.

        I race in GT-2 with SCCA and ST-2 with NASA. Both organizations require full containment seats or side safety nets where full containment seats are not used. This is because they recognize that the HANS devices do not provide for full 90 degree side impact protection.

        So, I don't see how you can say that my previous comment was pure nonsense and that a HANS would "absolutely" have kept him from being injured.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So Paul, are you saying that dropping your entire body weight onto your head will not do you any harm? That might explain a lot...

        Of course the initial impact might have hurt the poor guy's neck. Dropping his entire weight onto it would certainly have compounded it, and might have caused most or all the injury. It is a fact that many racers who get through a rollover just fine do major damage to their necks when they let the belts go without supporting their weight. I'm not making that up. And while I am an advocate of the HANS and use one myself, it won't help that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think so. Looks like a classic belt-release injury at 0:30 in the first video.

        People don't realize when they are upside down that releasing their harness will drop then several inches and put all their weight on their head. So they let the belts go and BANG there goes their vertebrae. Doesn't look like much, but equivalent to dropping a 180 lb sledgehammer onto the top of your helmet from several inches above it. This happens all the time and is probably the most-common injury in otherwise simple racing rollovers.
      • 5 Years Ago
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