Bill Simpson started making safety gear for motorsport after he retired from racing, and a lot of racers, like team owner Chip Ganassi, owe their lives to his helmets. Hell, even the Stig from Top Gear wears a Simpson Diamondback.

A few ears ago, Simpson met NFL coach Tom Moore at a bar in Indianapolis, and ended up going to his first football game soon after. After witnessing Austin Collie's concussion in the middle of the game and finding out that this was relatively commonplace, Simpson asked if he could have a helmet for testing. After his drop tests on the helmet, he became convinced that the sport needed some new headgear, so he applied what works in motorsport, and it didn't work at all.

Simpson then went on to talk to players, coaches, and a neurosugeon or two, and came to the conclusion that reducing the weight of the helmet would do the most good for a player. When the head is acting as a "pendulum" and being knocked back and forth, every oz of weight causes the brain to shake more violently inside the head. After a lot of research, and three pending patents, Simpson has made a helmet that weighs in at just 40% of a regular one. 

He and Chip Ganassi, who is now a partner in the project, are now going to start marketing adult and youth football helmets under the name Simpson Ganassi Helmets. He's not in it to make money either, "I don't give a damn if this is for a quarterback making $100 million or a kid playing youth football. A head is a head to me. I always felt that way in racing. I never cared if I was trying to save Mario Andretti or somebody running a Saturday-night bomber. They can get burned the same."

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[via Autoweek