Rochester Hills, Mi (Wednesday, February 6, 2019) - Dr. Robert Hubbard, the co-inventor of the Head and Neck Support Device, better known as the HANS Device, died Tuesday. According to NBC Sports, Dr. Hubbard along with his brother-in-law and champion IMSA driver Jim Downing began developing a head and neck restraint in the mid-1980’s after the death of a racing friend as a result of a skull injury. Downing was the first driver to use the device, as he suited up with an untested prototype during a 1991 IMSA race. The HANS Device worked its way into the circle track world in July of 2000 when NASCAR drivers Brett Bodine and Kyle Petty used them weeks after Kenny Irwin, Jr. died from a skull fracture during a practice session crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, just months after Petty’s son Adam was killed by a similar wreck at the same track. Dr. Hubbard, a former professor in biomechanical engineering at Michigan State University, is credited for saving a countless number of lives thanks to the HANS device. MSU reports over 200,000 devices had been purchased and used by drivers in all forms of racing between 1990 and 2014 - the year Dr. Hubbard was inducted into the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame. More on the passing of Dr. Hubbard on this week’s edition of Horsepower Happenings, Monday night at 7:00 P.M. EST on the Motor City Racing Network.
HANS C0-Founder, Dr. Robert Hubbard, Passes Away Tuesday