Ford Authority

No. 17 Nascar Ford Airborne Wreck Proves Next Gen Model Did Its Job

The No. 17 Nascar Ford Mustang driven by Chris Buescher went for a dramatic barrel-rolling wreck at the 2022 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. While the race car is headed for scrap, Buescher himself walked away from the dramatic crash, proving that the Next Gen Ford Mustang performed exactly as it was supposed to in keeping its driver safe.

The wreck occurred when Daniel Suarez’s No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 contacted the No. 14 Mustang of Chase Briscoe, sending Suarez spinning. Buescher’s No. 17 Mustang made heavy contact with Suarez’s No. 99 race car, and the both of them spun into the infield grass. Buescher’s No. 17 Mustang appeared to spring into the air and flipped several times, coming to a rest on its roof.

Bozi Tatarevic, a racing mechanic, pit crew member, and automotive journalist, explained the bizarre crash in detail on his Twitter page. The race car’s flip was caused by a broken upper control arm. Tatarevic says the passenger’s side control arm likely fractured when Buescher’s No. 17 Mustang wrecked into Suarez’s No. 99 Camaro, causing the No. 17 Mustang’s wheel to drag across the grass and create tension as it spun. This, in turn, dragged the top of the control arm assembly downward and allowed the lower part of the tire to grip the grass. The tire was then pulled beneath the car, creating the spring-like effect that sent Buescher’s No. 17 Mustang up and over.

Tatarevic then explains that the Next Gen race car was designed with tethers to prevent the control arm and attached parts from completely separating from the vehicle in the event of a crash such as this. They performed as designed in Buescher’s wreck, keeping the parts together as the race car rolled.

Furthermore, Taterevic says that while the wreck looked particularly bad, this sort of crash is actually less harmful to the driver than, say, having a tire go down and causing the vehicle to slap against the wall. This is because the energy is dissipated as the race car rolls instead of placing all that force on the driver.

The Next Gen Nascar Ford Mustang was designed with safety in mind, and while it’s never a good thing to see a driver involved in such a violent wreck, it’s certainly comforting to know that the high-tech machine holds up to protect its driver.

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Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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