Results of study into Kyle Larson's crash during Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway released
A NASCAR study of Kyle Larson's crash on the final lap of the Geico 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on April 28 has concluded with the determination that his #42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet got airborne and flipped multiple times because of damage to the car's right-front fender.
Larson's crash was a result of contact from the #24 Chevrolet of William Byron after Byron was forced up the race track by the #38 Front Row Motorsports Ford of David Ragan. The NASCAR study has concluded that Larson's car was traveling at approximately 180 mph when it went airborne. None of the drivers involved in the incident were injured.
“Engineers created a model that simulated that damage to the rear of the right front wheel opening,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation John Probst said, as quoted in an NBC Sports article. “The results of that effectively showed us that when they had that damage, there is about a 70 mph reduction in the liftoff speed, which kind of put us in the 180-190 mph range. Our conclusion is the reason the car got off the ground is from the contact with [Byron’s] car that led to the spin to the right.”
Results from wind-tunnel test of the aerodynamic rules package used at Talladega showed an undamaged car wouldn't get airborne under 250 mph. The roof flaps on Larson's car deployed, but air was able to pack under the car, as a result of the fender damage, lifting the car off the ground.
Findings from NASCAR's study were given to Cup Series race teams. Several NASCAR officials participated in the study that included reviews of replays, computer simulations, an analyzation of data from the #42 car's incident data recorder.