Ask the Experts: Stroud Safety
Stroud Safety was founded 20 years ago when owner Bob Stroud applied his engineering degree and knowledge of parachutes and safety equipment to racing with the creation of his Drag Chutes. Since then, the company has become the go to face of race safety, launching new products like fire suits, drag boots, seat belts and restraints, and other equipment to keep all sorts of racers safer.
Recently, Stroud Safety began supplying Track Safety Packages to drag racing facilities around the globe to help encourage safe standards and practices.
Bob Stroud answered a few questions for RacingJunk.com to help pass some race safety tips along to our readers.
Q: What is the most important safety tip you can offer racers?
A: Don’t skip on safety. If you can’t afford safety don’t race.
Q: How can the right equipment help keep them safe? What are some of the pieces that are essentials?
A: Start with the basics. If you have a car and you don’t have a cage nothing will help. If you have racing seatbelts and don’t have a racing seat they just won’t work. If you don’t have a SFI approved racing suit you obviously don’t care about your potential of loss of life. If you have a $10.00 helmet you must have a $10.00 head. Protect yourself. Just because your track or buddy or class says you have to only have the minimum doesn’t mean you don’t need it.
Q:What can a racer do to be a better safety advocate? And how do you think a well-known racers actions effect up and coming racers in terms of safety? Are there things they can do to model good practices?
A: Use of proper safety equipment so they can race a long time to be alive to tell your stories of how particular equipment saved your life or someone else’s.
Q: Are there different pieces of equipment that are really only meant for one type of series or another?
A: Yes, SFI 15-20 rating suits are primarily for Bonneville and Drag racing. Funny Car boots are for Drag Racing. Transmission blankets are drag racing. Bell housing blankets are for Tractor Pullers. Parachutes don’t work on dirt tracks.
Q: If a racer can do one thing, or purchase one thing to keep him or herself safer, what would it be?
A: Everything! Just buy the best safety equipment money can buy. It’s like insurance in so many ways.
Note: In the event of a crash it’s easy to fix a car… but it’s hard to build new skin.. grow new limbs.. etc