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Denim blue jeans, a ubiquitous American classic and the original miners’ wear,
With time, the science of racing apparel naturally progressed, too, and fire suits have been just one of the drastic improvements on the circuit designed to combat
Fire suits today are
1. Glenn "Fireball" Roberts, a beloved racing legend who won 33 races, was in a fiery crash in the 1964 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway that left him with severe burns. He survived the crash but died of complications six weeks after the accident. Fireball Roberts’ death was one of the major catalysts that led to the development of more fire-resistant uniforms in racing.
2. In the 1960s, some drivers dipped their clothing into baking soda to make it more fire resistant.
3. Modern fire suits are made of Nomex® or Proban® fire-retardant materials. According to Nomex’s website, Nomex fiber protects auto racing teams through its inherent heat- and flame-resistant properties and durability.
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What's the difference?
4. Helmet lining, gloves, socks, and shoes are also made of Nomex materials.
5. Fire suits not only protect from fire, heat and burns, but allow cooler air to enter the
6. Pit crew members also wear fire suits. Each individual’s fire suit is custom-tailored, often has his or her name on the back and is professionally cleaned after each use.
7. Special undergarments are worn underneath fire suits.
8. In the United States, the SFI Foundation issues and administers standards for the quality assurance of specialty performance and racing equipment, including NASCAR fire suits. Its racing suit specification 3.2A tests a material’s fire retardant capabilities and ability to provide thermal protective performance (known as TPP) against flame and heat. The test and a mathematical calculation determine a number value which determines the suit’s TPP value. Logically, the higher the TPP value, the better the rating of the fire suit and its properties.
9. NASCAR mandates that drivers and any crew member
11. Beginning in the 1980s, fire suits also became a place to put sponsor logos. Like the colorful stock car paint schemes, fire suits today come in a vivid array of colors and are carefully designed to incorporate a number of logos.
12. Fire suits can be heavy.
13. Some NASCAR media members wear fire suits, and there are reasons why.
14. A custom-made fire protection suit that meets all NASCAR specifications can cost between $900-$2,000, depending on style, logos and other embroidery. Remember when we said NASCAR is expensive?
On April 21, 2015 a scary fire on pit road erupted during the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway when Brendan Gaughan’s No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet had a full-scale fireball near the left rear corner of the car. Gaughan had just pitted after a caution on Lap 108 of the 250-lap race when the gas man and rear tire changer were caught in the flames. They managed to escape the inferno and were treated at a local hospital, but their fire suits undoubtedly helped save them from more serious injury or maybe even saved their lives, just like dozens of competitors before them.