After the revelation that Austin Theriault’s HANS device cracked in a crash at Last Vegas Motor Speedway, HANS Performance Products released a statement on its Facebook page Wednesday.
We have learned that the right side tether carrier on Austin Theriault’s HANS device cracked during his violent collision in Las Vegas. The HANS device did its job protecting his head and neck, as it has in thousands of racing crashes. We are pleased that Austin was not further injured and that he plans to return to racing wearing a HANS head restraint. We are working with NASCAR to investigate the specifics of this impact and what may be learned from it.
The Facebook post also included a photo of the device that illustrated the location of the tether carriers.
Brad Keselowski, the owner of Theriaut’s truck, said he hadn’t seen a HANS device damaged before and attributed it to “what happens when you hit a wall that doesn’t have a SAFER barrier at a very atrocious angle.”
The HANS device is a head and neck restraint system that became mandatory after Dale Earnhardt’s death in the 2001 Daytona 500. It’s designed to help prevent the basilar skull fractures that killed Earnhardt, Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin Jr. and Tony Roper in a series of separate crashes between 2000-01.