Carbon Fiber Hood Shatters in NASCAR Crash

Jeff Gordon blew out his right-front tire and collected Matt Kenseth during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway March 17, giving fans a look at how NASCAR’s new carbon fiber hood reacts during a wreck.

Kenseth’s carbon fiber hood didn’t bend, but shattered, as the nose of his car went under Gordon’s rear bumper (skip to 0:52 in the video). The rigid hood broke into sections, but ultimately held together as Kenseth slowed down.

NASCAR made the decision to allow carbon fiber hoods and decklids (trunk lids) with the Sixth Generation car late in 2012, leaving teams to rush for the light, strong composites that help with overall weight and weight distribution. Each manufacturer — Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota — provides teams with the hoods, while the same manufacturer produces all decklids.

For comparison, here is Danica Patrick during a 2012 wreck at Bristol. She was turned nose-first into the wall, and her metal hood buckled, but did not break (skip to 1:08).

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1 ROUNDUP: March 2013 in Carbon Fiber/Fiberglass News — Fibre Glast Blog { 04.01.13 at 5:59 pm }

[…] NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon gets together with Matt Kenseth, and Kenseth learns the hard way how the carbon fiber hoods, new this year to the Sprint Cup, react during front-on wrecks. […]

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