[Editor’s Note: I’m on vacation for July, and I will not update the tracker or paint scheme grades until August. In the meantime, I’ve got articles ready to go on Fridays. DGF]
Nomex is a great material for driver suits. It will protect the driver in the event of a fire, with no health issues, unlike asbestos. It is much more comfortable to wear than chemical dipped cotton, and much more durable. It does however have one major drawback. Should the material get burned, and discolored, the whole suit becomes useless. The discolored area of the suit will not protect the driver from fire.
The damage from fire can’t be fixed. This is why there are multiple suits issued to drivers Contrary to what a lot of people believe, cleaning a Nomex suit won’t reduce the fire protection, in fact it will help. This is why when photo-matching, drivers can often be seen in the same basic design, with some very slight differences. Fire protection is key for drivers and crew members alike.
These are two of the exact same suit, issued to a crew member named Chip. They were sponsored by Stock Building Supply, which has a number of stores in 13 states. I’m gonna show both suits at the same time, to show how similar they are. The suit is made by Deist, though isn’t SFI certified. The collar has a Velcro-shut design with a DEIST logo on it, with a warranty tag underneath. The shoulders, belt, and legs have no designs on them. The front has a STOCK BUILDING SUPPLY logo on it. The sleeves have green and white stripes, and DEIST logos embroidered into them. The only difference between the two suits is that one has CHIP written on the top of the right sleeve. The back of the neck has a DEIST tag. The back torso has a STOCK BUILDING SUPPLY logo and a DEIST SAFETY logo embroidered into it. This duality helped protect whoever Chip is, and it’s a good thing that neither suit suffered fire damage, and Chip wasn’t at any risk. Nomex has been the standard since 1967, and I see no signs of that changing in the foreseeable future.