Auto Service World
News   September 29, 2004   by Auto Service World

Clean Air For Racecar Drivers a Priority


While few will think of motorsports as being concerned about the environment, the environment within the cockpit is nonetheless a concern.
Going back a decade or so, Richard Petty even went so far as to have a fresh air supply and a fighter-pilot style helmet to combat the rising pollutant levels in the cockpit.
With the interior air quality in mind, and after a successful start last season in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series with the Joe Gibbs Racing team, WIX Filters has launched its Carbon Monoxide Cabin Air Filtration System into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Robert Huffman’s No. 12 Toyota Tundra Toyota ran the WIX Filters U.S. patent pending carbon monoxide cabin air filtration system for the first time in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Race at Richmond on September 9. Huffman started the race in the 22nd position and finished sixth, his best finish of the season. He also picked up two contingency awards because of his solid performance.
"After racing at Richmond, I drove my motorcoach all the way home," said Huffman. "I’ve never been able to do that before, and I’m confident that I’m going to see a big difference in how I feel after the races because of using this new filtration system.
"Anytime that you can feel better after the races, and have a better mindset, you think better and can run better," added Huffman.
In 2003, WIX Filters teamed up with Joe Gibbs Racing to develop a new cabin air filtration system that protects drivers’ respiratory systems from particulate matter, like dust, soot and rubber, noxious fumes, gas and oil vaporus and most importantly from carbon monoxide.
"Robert Huffman and Innovative Motorsports asked us to provide them with the technology used in the development of this patent pending system to help improve the air quality for Robert during races," said Bill Stamey, heavy duty product engineering manager for WIX Filters. "We were excited to get the call from Robert and the team to help get him on the road to feeling better after races as well as expanding our program."
2004 marks Robert Huffman’s rookie year in the Craftsman Truck Series, but he’s no stranger to racing. Huffman came to the Craftsman Truck Series by way of the NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series where he won five Championships and 42 races.
"I know the danger of carbon monoxide in our sport and I have always had trouble with eye irritation after the race," said Huffman. "I was hoping to discover it was caused by the carbon monoxide, because I knew that I could work with WIX Filters and their development team to begin running the new system and feeling better after the races."
The carbon monoxide cabin air filtration system from WIX Filters is seeing expansion with other key race teams. At this time, the teams at Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, and Richard Childress Racing are currently working with WIX Filters’ engineers and advisors to implement the system in their race cars as well.
"WIX Filters is excited about working with the teams and drivers in all areas of this competitive sport to provide them with the technology to help them breathe cleaner air while they’re racing," said Bruce Johnston, brand manager of WIX Filters.
"I would definitely recommend the WIX Filters carbon monoxide air filtration system to other drivers, particularly the younger drivers," said Huffman. "I’ve been racing for 22 years now, and to have something like this system help me race a few more years is great."


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