A retired Michigan State University professor who developed a safety device that is credited with saving the lives of countless racecar drivers is being inducted into the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame.
Robert Hubbard and Jim Downing, a driver himself and Hubbard's brother-in-law, developed what's known as the Head and Neck Support device, or HANS, in the mid-1980s, following the death of a racer friend who died as a result of a skull fracture.
It wasn't, however, just the development by Hubbard, an MSU professor of materials science and mechanics, and Downing. The two were instrumental in convincing a slow-to-adapt motor sports industry that the HANS was a valuable piece of equipment.
Since 1990, more than 200,000 HANS devices have been put into use by drivers.
Hubbard will be inducted into the Kansas City-based hall of fame on Saturday.