Dr. John Melvin, a racing safety pioneer who helped develop many important safety innovations in NASCAR, died Thursday evening.
Melvin, a former University of Michigan professor, became a paid consultant for NASCAR and served as the technical consultant to NASCAR for race car safety. He helped develop and pushed for the use of many new safety innovations, including the SAFER Barrier, head-and-neck restraints and stronger seat belts.
“NASCAR and the entire motorsports industry lost a giant on Thursday with the passing of Dr. John Melvin,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton. “Dr. Melvin was a pioneer in the field of driver safety, particularly in the area of driver restraint systems. His many contributions as a safety consultant to NASCAR for more than 13 years forever changed the sport. We lost a colleague, and a friend.
“NASCAR extends its condolences to Dr. Melvin’s family and friends. He will be greatly missed by the entire racing community.”