Dr John Melvin was a safety consultant for NASCAR for the last 13 years. He sadly passed away on Thursday and was very well known in the NASCAR community although not so much with fans themselves.
Dr Melvin was a professor at the University of Michigan and then was a senior research engineer with General Motors before going on to being a safety consultant for NASCAR in the role of Technical Consultant to NASCAR for Racecar Safety.
At his time in his role at NASCAR he was responsible for working on things such as safer seat construction, head and neck restraints as well as safer barriers. He also developed a black box in 1991 for race cars.
Mike Heltopn, the president of NASCAR released a statement saying that the whole of the motorsports industry lost a giant with Dr Melvin being a pioneer and that his contribution changed the sport. He went on to say that NASCAR extends its condolences to his family and friends.
Brad Keselowski, Sprint cup driver also tweeted to show his thoughts about the loss and to demonstrate what advances Dr Melvin had made for the industry. Other drivers also tweeted about it as well, mainly expressing their gratitude at the work that was done by the safety consultant. He specifically mentioned the fact that he recommended over under shoulder harnesses and 6 point y-bar critch belts which he felt had saved his life in crashes on numerous occasions. He also said that he was the biggest reason that there have been a lack of driver fatalities since 2001.
These behind the scenes workers are often never seen by fans, but drivers and crews very much appreciate the work that they do to keep them safe and to prevent their lives being put at higher risk.