REPORT: NASCAR probe finds cars are not safe

Friday, August 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Orlando, Florida-AP) -- Published reports say the NASCAR investigation of Dale Earnhardt's fatal wreck has found that cars are NOT safe enough in crashes. But the reports say the probe does NOT blame a broken seat belt for the death of the racing great.

The report is due out on August 21st in Atlanta.

The Orlando Sentinel says the investigation also essentially confirms the findings of the court-appointed independent expert. He determined Earnhardt died of a sudden head-whip when his car hit the wall Februrary 18th on the final lap of the Daytona 500.

Sources close to the investigation have spoken to the Sentinel on condition of anonymity.

NASCAR president Mike Helton and chairman Bill France Junior have declined to comment to the Sentinel.

The Sentinel says the NASCAR report has found race cars don't have enough crush resistance in the front ends to adequately protect drivers in crashes. Redesigning probably will be recommended, with energy-absorbent bumpers and the aluminum-foam ``crush box'' under development.