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SFI Foundation Founder, Safety Pioneer Arnie Kuhns, 83

By SEMA Editors

Arnold "Arnie" Kuhns--the motorsports safety pioneer and founder of SFIKuhns Foundation--has passed away. He was 83. Kuhns was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 2002 and the SEMA Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Hall of Fame in 2016.

In 1984, Kuhns was approached by his peers in the automotive industry to lead the newly formed SFI Foundation to address the increasing concern of inferior parts that posed a risk to safety at the race track. He developed what was, at the time, an innovative system to create minimum performance testing standards for race products.

Initially, SFI had only two employees managing four product standards for one sanctioning body. Now, SFI testing and certification has grown to more than 100 quality-assurance specifications utilized by hundreds of international sanctioning bodies.

During his career, Kuhns served as president of the International Council of Motorsports Sciences (ICMS) and was an active member of the NFPA 610 Committee for Safety at Motorsports Venues and the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.

Kuhns was honored with several accolades, including the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) George Snively Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports Safety (1995); the United States Auto Club Jack O'Neal Award for Motorsports Safety (1996); awarded an NHRA Wally for Valued Personal Contributions to the Sport of Drag Racing and High Performance Industries (2002); British Drag Racing Hall of Fame's Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award (2018); and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) John Melvin Motorsport Safety Award (2021).