Sunday, August 1, 2010

What a vicious crash with Kurt Busch and Elliott Sadler in the Sunoco American Red Cross Pennsylvania 500.

(Photos by Chris Trotman /Getty Images for NASCAR)

This one was a vicious, scary wreck with 35 laps to go that just left me speechless. I couldn’t believe that Kurt Busch’s right front wheel was ripped off, but even more, Elliott Sadler’s hit to the inside wall that ripped out the engine completely out of the car. He got hit or hit both front and back. This was the scariest wreck in recent years and of the COT’s history and that includes Michael McDowell’s wreck at Texas. Note, the driver’s cockpit was the only major piece (1 of 3) in tacked and that is a good to see.

But it was a relief to see on television when Elliott Sadler less than 10 minutes later walked out of the infield care center and did an interview with ESPN and said he was ok.

Sadler later gave a comment for Ford Racing where he said: “I’m fine. I’m okay. I’m a little sore, I think, from where the belts grabbed me. It knocked the breath out of me pretty good, but it’s definitely the hardest hit I’ve ever had in a race car. These new cars are built to be safer and if I can get out of that and walk through that, I think it did its job. I’m not sure what happened. I know some guys got spun out or moved around up in front of us, and I saw some smoke. Everybody started checking up and I checked up, but whoever was behind did not and ran in the back of us and knocked me down through the grass. It’s not the day we wanted to have with the U.S. Air Force Ford. It’s just a tough day.”

WHAT DID YOU SEE? “I saw smoke and some cars sideways up in front of me. I didn’t know what happened until I just saw a replay in the infield care center, but they started stacking up in front of us and everybody started slowing down and I started slowing down too, and somebody ran in the back of me. I have no idea. I haven’t seen the replay, but somebody just ran into the back of us and turned us inside through the wet grass into the guardrail, so I was along for the ride. It was a very hard hit. I’m a little sore through my chest and my stomach, but that’s from where the seatbelts did their job and grabbed me and kept me in the car, so I’m thankful for that.” (Elliott Sadler quotes from Ford Racing Media Relations via email)

And just before Elliott Sadler came out, Kurt Busch came out and said he was ok. When asked what happened, he said we got wrecked on the straightaway. How did it happen, Kurt said “Jimmie Johnson drove straight through us.”

In watching the replay, it looked like Jimmie Johnson was trying to bump draft Kurt Busch past the #33 Clint Bowyer down the Long Pond straightaway and Kurt Busch got loss and with contact with Bowyer sent Busch into the outside wall and then across the track and on a wild ride before he came to rest inside turn 2. I think this was a racing deal until I see otherwise.

But I wanted to say one thing, I have seen some horrible wrecks at Pocono raceway over the years from Davey Allison between turn 2 and 3, Steve Park and Dale Earnhardt Jr. between turns 1 and 2 just to name a few. Sorry I don’t know the years.

The point is, Pocono Raceway is making updates to those areas, but I believe that the Pocono needs to go from turn 1 all the way around to turn 3 making it a lot safer and maybe even getting rid of the grass and putting in an access road for cars that are in trouble to go around the track.

(Photos by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)