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Throttle Inspection Mike DeSantis died on 4/13/2002 when the throttle on his Legends apparently car hung open after he let off the gas to enter turn 3 at Wall Stadium.  As this has been a point of concern of mine, I wanted to put this page together. Upon inspection of my carbs and throttle linkage today, I decided to take some pictures of the properly installed throttle cable, and then move the clamps which hold the carbs in place an incorrect position in order to illustrate how improper positioning of these clamps may cause the throttle to hang open.  The pictures appear below, and you can click on them for full-size display.  If the clamps are not positioned with the tightening screws at a level, 0 degree angle, they are positioned improperly, and are at risk of causing the throttle linkage to hang.

Properly installed carb clampAnother thing to look for is throttle cable fraying.  The throttle cable in our cars is subject to wear and tear, like any other piece of equipment.  Every time you press and release the gas pedal, the cable is the part that is doing the work.  I am going to institute a policy with my team cars that we replace this cable at the beginning of every year, along with inspecting the cable as part of our weekly safety checks.

Improperly installed carb clampI believe if we are vigilant in just these two areas of maintenance (making sure the carburetor clamps are installed correctly and inspecting the throttle cable for signs of wear) we can greatly reduce the chances of accelerator malfunction.  Please pass this link along, and contact me if you have other suggestions and ideas.  No matter how intense the competition gets, we are all united in wanting all the competitors to get home safely.

Everyone at Yeatts Racing sends our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mike DeSantis, along with his competitors, and the fans who witnessed this tragic event.


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