Table of Contents DRO Store Classifieds Speed Connections Archives & Search Contact DRO


Q&A: The HANS Device


We received a letter from a Sportsman racer concerning the HANS device. There were questions we didn't know the answer to, so we forwarded the letter to Jay Braxton of the HANS company. Here are the questions and his answers. We have put Mr. Braxton's answers right after the questions for ease of reading. We hope it helps the rest of you make up your minds about head and neck restraint safety.

Mr. Burk, I still enjoy DRO and read it when I have time. However, I have a question/comment that needs to be "passed on" or at least discussed regarding safety, specifically the HANS device for use by sportsmen racers.

I run Top Dragster, so I am looking at trap speeds from the low 180's to nearly 200 mph, depending upon the "tune up" (how much and how long I am on the nitrous), and am really interested in superior safety equipment. The following are my (and a couple of other people like me) issues with the device:

Question 1 I have heard that the device prevents you from turning your head. This is a big problem in bracket style racing, because all of us are looking at our opponent, not straight ahead like a pro.

Answer 1 This is a common misconception. The HANS(r) allows at least 45 degrees of side movement. The "strap devices" (Hutchens, D Cell, and R3) require that the tethers going to the helmet be very taut to work properly and do indeed inhibit side movement. Some Sportsman drivers who want more than 45 degrees side movement have adapted mirrors (Seems much safer to avert my eyes rather than my entire head while driving, right?).

Question 2 Ease of use. The vast majority of us (sportsmen) are "one man bands," in other words we have no crew. So we need something that we can install ourselves and adjust once in the car.

Answer 2 The HANS(r) requires no adjustments. The shoulder straps go over top of it and the tethers can be easily attached and detached by the driver while in the car. If a driver can strap himself in and tighten the belts by himself without the HANS(r), he can do the same with the HANS(r).

Question 3 Cost. Not a problem with me (and others like myself who realize we are worth a superior safety device that costs less than $1,000); I have a Bell Racing helmet that cost $700, a friend had a $70 helmet (it was legal) and was giving me grief. I shut him up by saying "You have a $70 head, I have a $700 head." I do not compromise on anything that is a part of going in excess of 180 mph as that is the kind of stuff that will get you seriously hurt or killed, or even worse, hurt somebody else (fellow competitor).

Answer 3 The HANS(r) cost is $865. The only part of it that ever needs replacing are the tethers ($25) and we recommend replacing them every 5 years. It is a one-time purchase.

Question 4 And yes, tell Mr. Braxton to go to IHRA events. Hopefully, it will be one I am attending so I can discuss it with him. Trying to get answers to the above from current users (all pros with crewmembers to help) has not been successful. And I would absolutely hate to spend that kind of money for something that does not accomplish the goal.

And I do appreciate your efforts to help all us do better and be safer.

William D. (Dee) Kruse
TD/ET 4030

Answer 4 I am planning on attending both IHRA and NHRA events this year. I will be in Bristol and Atlanta NHRA events. Our dealer Dennis Taylor of Taylor Motorsports (714-630-7850) is a Top Alcohol competitor and attends most NHRA West Coast events.

I hope I have answered your questions. If not, I would be happy to talk with any competitors by phone (888-426-7999) or correspond via e-mail ( I am also happy to provide independent test data and literature to anyone who might question what "crash" is bad enough to need head and neck restraint, and how the different types available actually work.


Jay Braxton
Product Specialist
HANS(r) Performance Products
5096 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30341


Project 4-Link [5-5-05]

E-Carb's 1050 Dominator [5-5-05]

Fire's New Foe [4-11-05]


Copyright 1999-2005, Drag Racing Online and Autographix