Random Thoughts On Pocono

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The ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway was an exhausting experience for everyone. By the time the NBCSN telecast signed off, I felt physically and mentally drained. I can only imagine what it was like for those that were on site.

I am sure I’m not the only one to say that when I saw the crash on Lap 7, I feared the worst for Robert Wickens. Fortunately, the safety cell was not compromised and we learned that he was awake and alert as he was air-lifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest in Allentown with what is being termed as orthopedic injuries. Please keep Robert Wickens and his friends and family in your thoughts as he hopefully recovers.

After a disjointed start that saw Graham Rahal climb into the back of Spencer Pigot’s car before they took the green flag, the rest of the field finally took the green flag for the first time at the beginning of Lap 7. They got just a little more than halfway through the first lap when Wickens and Ryan Hunter-Reay made slight contact in Turn Two. It was slight, but it was enough to send Hunter-Reay into the wall and launching Wickens over the car of Hunter-Reay, over the SAFER barrier and into the catch fence. Once into the fencing, the car and fence were both ripped apart and what was left of the pirouetting car of Wickens was violently hurled back onto the track.

The crash was reminiscent of Kenny Bräck at Texas in 2003, Davey Hamilton at Texas in 2001 and Mikhail Aleshin at Fontana in 2014. It should be noted each of those drivers lived to race again in IndyCar, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that Wickens is able to resume his IndyCar career soon.

Last night, Paul Tracy tweeted that Wickens had suffered two broken ankles, a fractured arm and a possible fractured vertebrae as he awaited surgery. Despite a possible HIPAA violation, this was about the only halfway reliable information out there last night. Some took offense that Tracy put the information out there, but fans were concerned. If Tracy’s information turned out to be incorrect, then shame on him. About an hour after Tracy’s tweet; his information was confirmed in a press release from IndyCar, which also mentioned a pulmonary contusion and a possible injury to his spine.

It took almost two hours to make some makeshift repairs to the fencing just beyond Turn Two. But soon after drivers and fans were notified that Wickens was awake and alert, the engines were re-fired after the long delay. After four laps of yellow, the race finally restarted on Lap 11 with Alexander Rossi in the lead after jumping ahead of the front row of Will Power and Josef Newgarden during the half-lap of green on Lap 7.

From Lap 11 until about Lap 90, the race was a bit of a snoozer – thanks mostly to Alexander Rossi’s dominance. But after what we had all seen in the first seven laps, I didn’t really mind being a bit bored. It was good to catch my breath and let the adrenaline subside.

Rossi’s main rival throughout the day was Will Power. At one point, in the first half of the race, Rossi held a twelve-second lead over second-place Power. But as Rossi kept catching soon-to-be lapped traffic, Power started picking away at that lead. By about the halfway point of the race, it was down to about three seconds. What had been a snoozer was suddenly becoming interesting.

Ironically and thankfully, there were no caution periods after the Wickens crash. That allowed Rossi to pad his lead only to lose the bulk of it due to lapped traffic. There were pit stop shuffles, but Rossi always resumed his big lead once everyone pitted. Then on Lap 169, Power passed Rossi and seemed to be pulling away. You wondered if we were going to see a repeat of Belle Isle, when Rossi dominated the day only to throw it away in ugly fashion at the end. That wondering didn’t last too long. Power had a bad exit in Turn One, and allowed Rossi to pass him as they were going into Turn Two on Lap 172. The race was effectively over at that point.

Power made another run with about ten laps to go, but got no closer than about three and a half seconds. The final margin of victory for Rossi was 4.4982 seconds over Will Power.

Scott Dixon had another minor miracle. After starting thirteenth and narrowly avoiding the spinning car of Wickens, Dixon did what Dixon does. He drove a smart but unspectacular race and finished third. Sébastien Bourdais finished fourth and was the last car on the lead lap. But at the end, Rossi was just behind Bourdais, in position to lap him. That’s how dominating Rossi was.

Once I was able to temporarily put the anxiety of the Wickens crash behind me and focus on the race I was watching, that’s when it got good. There were only fourteen cars running at the end and only four on the lead lap, but I thought it was a good clean race – once the race resumed.

But the Lap 7 crash reminds us all what a dangerous sport we follow. Yes, it is much, much safer than it was twenty or thirty years ago – and it has advanced incredibly from when I first started following this sport in the mid-sixties, when it was common to lose six or seven drivers in a season. But we should never allow ourselves to get too complacent and think that these drivers will automatically walk away from crashes – no matter how bad they look. Yesterday was a reminder to us all that this sport is not for the faint of heart – and that includes fans also.

TV Coverage: I thought that given the circumstances, NBCSN did a phenomenal job with their marathon telecast yesterday. They were on the air for almost six hours and did a good job during the delay. Given the potential magnitude of the situation I felt like they did a nice job in striking a balance of being serious and somber, while still keeping things slightly lighthearted. That is a difficult task, but I thought they were able to pull it off.

As I was checking social media for any scrap of information I could find, I saw several people complaining that NBC should not have shown replays of the accident before it was confirmed that Wickens was awake and alert. They said it was in poor taste and morbid to show replays of the crash before we knew if Wickens had survived it or not.

I disagree. We are not all ghouls that get some morbid thrill out of watching potentially fatal crashes. Some of us simply want to know what happened. We all saw it live and we know it was bad. To never show a replay is almost like pretending it didn’t happen. It happened.

By seeing the crash replayed over and over in slow-motion and at different angles, I got no perverse thrill. It actually made me feel better. I was able to see that the head and neck area did not strike the fence, nor was the tub breeched. That didn’t guarantee to me that Wickens had actually survived, but it told me that his chances of survival were better than what I had originally thought.

Many of you probably disagree, but I thought NBC served its viewers well by showing the crash without making us wait for a couple of hours.

There were other highlights of NBC’s weekend. I thought their experiment of putting Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy in the pits for the Saturday qualifying show was great. It allowed them to interact with the drivers using driver lingo. Meanwhile, Jon Beekhuis was in the booth (where he belongs, in my opinion) along with Robin Miller. Katie Hargitt and Kevin Lee were given Saturday off and the camera showed them sitting in the stands with the fans. Overall, I thought it gave us a nice change-up.

Robin Miller had another one of his excellent essays, this time on Alexander Rossi and how he has acclimated himself to IndyCar after cutting his teeth in Europe – which proved to be timely since he ended up dominating his second race in a row.

Another bonus was the presence of Tony Kanaan in the booth, after Kanaan had gone out on Lap 17. Not only was Kanaan funny, but he brought the perspective of a current driver who had been competing in the race just a few minutes before. I didn’t time it, but I’ll bet Kanaan spent an hour and a half in the booth. Whenever TK decides to hang up his helmet, I think I know what he can do for a second career.

Michael Andretti’s Interview: During the red-flag delay, fans on social media were roasting Michael Andretti for what they thought was a callous and insensitive interview. Katie Hargitt asked Michael Andretti on the condition of his driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was involved in the crash. Michael said he was fine and then proceeded to lay blame on Wickens for the accident. Many felt that Andretti was out of line and that was not the time to be assigning blame.

I have no real allegiance to Michael Andretti, and I have no real reason to defend or attack him. On one hand, he comes by the blame game naturally. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Michael admit a mistake on the track as a driver or as an owner. On the other hand, Michael is almost as old as I am and he’s seen a lot of these accidents first-hand. As a child, he was going to a lot of races at a time when drivers were frequently severely injured or worse. It was commonplace. As a driver’s son, as a driver himself and as an owner, Michael Andretti has witnessed it all. You almost have to harden yourself to these situations in order to get through them.

I’ve been accused of being insensitive when dealing with driver fatalities in the past, but those making the accusation were more than a generation younger than me. They weren’t around when death was more common in this sport. I am also at the age when friends and colleagues my own age are starting to die off from natural causes. I hope I never get used to it, but it no longer surprises me when I lose someone close to me like it did when I was in my twenties. Time (and old age) teaches you to accept it easier. We all have different perspectives when it comes to mortality.

Michael Andretti certainly could have worded things differently, but I’m willing to give him a pass on this. I’m willing to bet that when he goes back and watches the interview, he’ll realize how bad it sounded. I’ll also be willing to bet that when grizzled racing veterans talk among each other, their approach to death would probably shock most people. Today’s drivers just know how to flip a switch and present a more sensitive persona to the public. Michael Andretti just forgot to flip that switch.

No Track Time: I’ve said before that I am not crazy about the two-day format for ovals. Not only does it short-change fans and not give them much reason to make a weekend trip out of it, but it cuts down on practice time. This weekend, drivers got a one-hour practice in the morning, then two laps of qualifying. The late afternoon practice session was rained out and not re-scheduled.

Since the death of Paul Dana during a race-morning warm-up at Homestead in 2006, IndyCar has done away with race-morning warm-ups on ovals. It’s not as if that’s the only time that the fatal accident would have occurred. Not to be insensitive, but I thought at the time that it was a knee-jerk reaction to a fatality by IndyCar.

The new super-speedway front-wing configurations that were introduced for Pocono were brand-new to most teams, I would have thought IndyCar might have held a practice session on Sunday morning, even though they may have been dodging raindrops. One hour of practice with new aero pieces just sounds a little inadequate to me, but then again – I’m just a fan. I’m sure that the powers-that-be know what they were doing when they made that call.

Repair Job: Once the fencing was hastily repaired, drivers headed to their cars. However, driver Sébastien Bourdais was dissatisfied with the repair job. He felt it was makeshift and basically unsafe. At first he refused to race, but quickly abandoned that stance when all other drivers climbed into their respective cockpits.

At the time, I thought he was being silly. But then I got to thinking how horrible it would be if a driver suffered career ending injuries (or worse) if another car went into the makeshift fence in the exact same spot. When Conor Daly slapped the wall late in the race at that spot, I have to admit it made me more than a little nervous. Fortunately, those fears of Bourdais never came to pass – but it gave everyone something more to think about after the frightening events of yesterday.

Crazy Start: Before the field reached the green flag, the caution was flying as Graham Rahal ran up the rear-end of Spencer Pigot’s car as the field was coming out of Turn Three. During the red-flag delay, Scott Dixon accused pole-sitter Will Power of manipulating the start and slowing down dramatically, thereby causing the wreck near the back of the field.

Will Power produced data to show that he was consistently doing 107 mph without wavering as they approached the starting line. Then there was a spike in the graph as they crossed the line during the aborted start. Video evidence also supported Power’s argument. After the race, Dixon said he owed Power an apology for calling him out.

Long Caution: During the wild start, Spencer Pigot’s car backed into the inside retaining wall and sustained damage. I saw no debris from Pigot’s car however, and Rahal continued on – albeit with a broken front wing.

My question is…with little or no debris from the contact, why were there six laps of caution, with cars circulating a two and a half mile track at a slow pace? Just what were they doing that required six laps of caution?

Social Media Conundrum: As I mentioned earlier, I spent a lot of the red-flag delay scouring social media to find out any information. There was a mixed bag of good and bad. The good was that most of the information that was leaking out was correct. About ten minutes after I would see something on Twitter, it would be reported by NBCSN.

The bad was not wrong information. In fact, I can’t really think of any information I saw that wasn’t true. No, the bad was the group of self-righteous people that had to show how much better they were, by admonishing NBC for showing the replays and demanding that no one post a replay on social media. They also would scold anyone for even speculating on what might have happened. And of course, they took Michael Andretti to task for being insensitive.

My suggestion to the self-appointed social media police is to stay off of social media during these times, if everyone’s concern for the crash victim upsets them. As I said earlier – we don’t get a thrill out of seeing a grisly replay. We are just looking for any shred of information we can get. We should be able to throw out questions without being publicly reprimanded by those that like to show they are above it all and that they are so much more respectful than you are.

Sure there are a few trolls that act inappropriately on social media during somber times like yesterday. But the vast majority of us are already upset by what we just witnessed and would like some answers. The last thing we need is some do-gooder scolding us just because we don’t respond to stress the way they think we should. End of rant.

Living Right: Not that I’m pulling against Scott Dixon in the championship fight, but what does it take for him to have a bad race? I don’t really care who wins the championship. I just want it to be close going into the final race. That’s why I thought that with Dixon starting thirteenth, this race had the potential to really tighten things up. Dixon finished third.

Heading into Mid-Ohio, Dixon had a sixty-two point lead in the championship. Rossi won and cut that lead down to forty-four – an eighteen point deficit whittled away. Rossi won again yesterday and only made up fifteen points on Dixon. Rossi still trails Dixon by twenty-nine points with three races to go.

The championship is now closer, but you would think that by winning two races in a row that Rossi would have closed that deficit by more than thirty-three points.

All in All: Yesterday was a stressful day to be an IndyCar fan. It reminded us how dangerous this sport is and how quickly things can go very wrong.

But it also demonstrated how fans react to stressful situations in different ways. While Robert Wickens was being loaded onto a backboard and being airlifted to a hospital, fans were already arguing back and forth about insensitive interviews, showing replays, releasing information and what and what not to say on social media.

Lost in all of this was that despite the first few laps, we witnessed a beatdown for the second race in a row by Alexander Rossi. We have also seen Scott Dixon’s championship lead cut by more than half in the last two races.

This makes this weekend’s race at Gateway that much more important for Dixon, Rossi, Josef Newgarden and even Will Power, who is eighty-one points behind Dixon.

But I’ll close by saying that no matter who posted what on social media yesterday, or what was seen or heard on NBCSN; we all have one common goal – and that is to see Robert Wickens get back into an IndyCar cockpit sooner than later. Please keep him in your prayers.

George Phillips

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29 Responses to “Random Thoughts On Pocono”

  1. I am conflicted on some things, first off, I hate the “Dan Wheldon” feeling I get once a year or so when I see a crash like that. I don’t think getting rid of oval racing is the key but something has to be done. I have to wonder if Wickens would have launched off of the old bodywork like that?

    I personally feel that RHR cut down on Wickens which makes Michael’s response typical of him. He does a lot for the sport but he is also a class A jerk.

    I don’t think Dixon has won the title as much as everyone else has lost it and he is there to pick up the pieces they leave behind. That’s why he is so solid.

    Lastly, I agree on morning warmup, but it’s like Indycar and the fans to have knee jerk reactions. See comments about oval racing yesterday for an example. Also see any discussion of Sage Karam.

    • I don’t think the older bodywork would have made a difference. Wickets went over the front of RHR’s car as it was turned sideways.

      • BrandonWright77 Says:

        You can see on the replay that Wickens nose “ramped” over RHR’s nose because it’s so low to the ground. Previous models had a higher/rounder nose and might have caused Wickens to deflect instead of ramp. Or it might have had the same effect, who knows, but I could clearly see on the replay how his car ramped off the nose of RHR’s car.

  2. BrandonWright77 Says:

    I can’t help but think if the wall was a bit higher at Pocono this may have been avoided. The wall seems very short there and we’ve seen cars ride the top of the wall or get over it before. There’s no grandstands from turn 1 to turn 3 so there’s no worry about obstructing the view if the wall was 1-2 meters taller back there, but it could prevent cars from getting into the fence.

    Hope Mr. Wickens makes a full recovery and can get back in the cockpit next season.

  3. Paul Fitzgerald Says:

    I have no problem with the the wreck replay being shown over and over again. I do however wish Indy Car had said more quickly that he was awake and alert. 45 minutes seems like a long time not to say anything.

    • DZ-groundedeffects Says:

      I think they disseminate information as soon as they can accurately. This was my point yesterday. Although I didn’t want to say it, I believed he was ‘in the balance’ for those 45 minutes. Cavin’s face told enough of the story for me. Our desire for info never supercedes the rights or wishes of the patient or their loved ones.

      Also, ‘awake and alert’ does not equal ‘OK’, as many were equating yesterday.

      Ultimately, I don’t enjoy days like yesterday. It bothers me that this happens with the regularity that it does and I continue to hope for safety improvements as rapidly as they can be made.

      • These are very good points. I wondered why it took Cavin 45 minutes to make an announcement if the news was relatively good. I thought it might have something to do with the medical privacy act. But that was a long time to wait for many of us who thought Robbie was probably gone.

  4. I wonder if there is any data or reading material out there on the different types of fencing used.

    Most newer tracks I have been to use fence sections made of welded steel rods in a steel frame. Older tracks have chain link.

    Chain link will ‘give’ when you hit it but will also rip the car to shreds and subject the driver to impact with the supporting poles.

    I don’t ever remember (my memory) an airborne car hitting the newer fencing so I’m not quite sure what to expect but I’m sure some science has gone into the design and approval of it.

    This is possibly the next driver safety challenge to be addressed ……. but the tracks will have to foot the bill for the upgrade.

  5. I didn’t mind the replays during the red flag but later in the day they were overdone, especially when that Indycar commercial with Dixon’s crash followed it. I have seen worse crashes live but that was one of the worst. Crashes like that will happen. My generation grew up with lots of fatalities, so I understand things like this can happen

  6. billytheskink Says:

    I’m quite thankful that IndyCar did not return to Pocono until the track added catch fencing all of the way around the outside, which occurred much more recently than you might think (less than 10 years ago). Obviously, the series is still striving toward safety, as Wickens’ terrifying wreck illustrates, but their standards for both cars and tracks have improved safety in recent years.

    As for the quality of the racing… it was reminiscent of most any race with a lot of uninterrupted green flag running. It did certainly have its interesting moments. Rossi is starting to look like the second championship-caliber star produced in the post-split era. He’s darn good.

    Prayers for Robert Wickens health and for a speedy recovery.

  7. James T Suel Says:

    First glad Robbie Wickens has no life ending injuries. As for those who get so upset at at NBCSN, grow up! It’s there job to bring you all the info on what happened. Racing is and will always be dangerous, the gain in safety the sport has made are remarkable. Michael just told it like it was. Wickens is a great talent, and will have a great future in this sport. That pass on Hunter-Reay was too late into turn two! With more experience on oval he would have backed out, it was the first lap of a 500 mile race. At first I though Power had brought the field down to slow. But his data trace showed he maintainsed 107 mph. I still think that was to slow, but that’s what they told him to do. Biggest problem these current drivers have ,is they all except Ed Carpenter come from a road racing background. They could all use sometime in USAC sprint or champ car oval racing with a rolling start. Indycar in my opinion made a mistake not giving them a practice after the starting field was set. With a new aero changes, no one other than Rossi had it figured out. The race would have been more competitive if they had time to sort it out.

  8. Perhaps George or someone else can enlighten me as to what “HIPAA” refers to.
    I dumped cable TV long ago so I did not see the crash until this morning when I watched it on YouTube. I watched it numerous times and what struck me more than anything was the sheer level of violence. Perhaps that is what it is like to be in the center of a tornado. It has been suggested that RHR did not know that Wickens was close to him. Some new cars, including Honda I believe, have a warning system that tells a driver when another car is alongside. Perhaps something like that could be installed on IndyCars; a loud warning signal. Given the severity and number of Robert Wickens injuries, one can only speculate as to whether he will have the desire and ability to race again. He reminded me so much of another Canadian, Greg Moore, and now this. We are all pulling for you Robbie.

    • BrandonWright77 Says:

      HIPAA is an act that ensures patient’s data privacy, i.e. your doctor is only to talk about your status/injuries/prognosis with you. When PT put the injuries on Twitter he technically violated this but I’m not sure if the law only applies to medical professionals or also to the average Joe (PT being an average Joe in this case).

      Not sure any type of warning system from passenger cars would work due to the high speeds, noise, vibrations, etc., not to mention the cost (IndyCar owners can barely afford the current kit as it is).

      • Thank you for your reply Brandon..

      • The law refers to medical professionals giving the info to PT, not PT giving the info to the public. Medical people are not allowed to reveal any of your medical info without your express **WRITTEN** permission.

        • BrandonWright77 Says:

          That’s what I suspected, only applies to medical personnel.

        • That’s not entirely correct. You need to read the details of the HIPAA regulations to see who is/isn’t covered by the guidelines.

          While “covered professionals”(doctors, nurses etc )are the primary focus of the law, people or groups that come into contact with patients and patient information are often required to protect patient confidentiality, as if they themselves were directly involved with that patient.

          It’s a gray area; PT should limit himself to commenting only on what info Robert’s family and/or SPM (if authorized) releases

          • Oh, come on. There is no way this applies to PT. He’s not a covered entity. He’s not a business associate of a covered entity. He’s a member of the press, and the First Amendment guarantees him the right to report what he learns.

          • Sorry to disagree with you, but since I make my living in the Medical/Pharmaceutical field I am far more familiar with these guidelines then you appear to be.

            And regardless of whether or not he is “a member of the press“ there are limits to what he can and cannot say. And privacy as it relates to a person’s medical conditions is clearly covered by multiple sections of these guidelines.

            On a related note, it would be nice if you or anyone else really understood what first amendment rights really are. First amendment rights deal with what the government can or cannot do as it relates to speech, Association, religion etc. It has nothing to do with the matter you’re trying to equate it to. You don’t have to believe me, or buy into it. But rather than wailing at me maybe you should attempt to educate yourself.

      • ecurie415 Says:

        HIPPA applies to “covered entities,” which do not include “retired racing drivers on Twitter,” even if they are independent contractors of a broadcast network. Check out the Medicare website for guidance on who is covered by HIPPA.

  9. Shyam Cherupalla Says:

    I agree with George that seeing replays like that ensures us fans to make our own interpretation of how bad a crash was and it gives fans some way to assess in their own minds perhaps things will be ok. Things like the car didn’t fly top first, rather with the nose first hitting the fence, etc immediately perhaps giving us insight into drivers well being. I agree about the first yellow, they took forever to hookup the car with almost no damage. As for the race, I took both my sons for the first time to watch a race, the race for pretty boring with almost no overtaking and whatever we saw as overtaking was few and far between. I went in with the race visualizing like it was the past two or three years in Pocono and it was pretty boring.

    • Bruce Waine Says:

      From where we were sitting in the upper grandstands the race did not appear boring while anticipating the pit stops & whether Power could pass and keep his pass of Rossi.

      Rossi being held up by backmarks allowing Power to cut the gap between himself and Rossi. Then Rossi pulling away …… after passing a backmarker ………

      Also, keeping tract of Rossi continually passing others and putting those he passed a lap or two down is not boring…………… it is racing………

  10. Re: HIPAA violation – It’s possible that whoever gave the info to Paul Tracy has committed a violation, but technically as a journalist, Tracy himself is not a “Covered Entity”. The Privacy Rule in HIPAA applies to Covered Entities (please just Google the definition; my last three attempts to define it here led to huge paragraphs I’m sure you all wouldn’t want to read). It doesn’t apply to just anyone who happens to find out some medical information about a person.

    Now, that only speaks towards HIPAA. There are other privacy laws, some at the state level, that can come into play. It takes a lawyer to address all of those implications, and a lawyer I am not. Note, too, that none of this addresses ethics. Something being legal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right. It all depends.

  11. Shyam Cherupalla Says:

    I know I’m going to make a controversial statement here but in ovals an accident with stacking is inevitable during a rolling start, which results in cars being taken out and ends a driver’s race abruptly. How about a standing start for the start of the race (and only on ovals with a straight long front-straight), at first the 1st turn speed will be slower due to the standing start and by the time the cars get around may be to turn 3 or 4 would be when the cars would have gotten to full speed and by then there would have been cars well established with their racing line or would have finished the 1st lap at some what of a safer speed but those who can and overtake can and will overtake

    • BrandonWright77 Says:

      These cars aren’t really capable of doing standing starts reliably, that’s why they’ve been abandoned.

  12. Well said George. The 45 minutes waiting for any word from IndyCar on Robert’s condition seemed like eternity to me.

    I thought I read somewhere late yesterday that PT spent time with Robert in the hospital. So passing on that information I don’t see as a violation of anything. I am relieved that Robert is still with us and wish him a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

    On the drive into work this morning the sports report on the all news
    radio station mentioned the accident and Ryan Hunter Reay, but couldn’t come up with Robert Wickens name at all. Sigh…

  13. shame on Michael Andretti on his horribly classless interview

  14. George, I too grew up in the era when there were multiple fatalities each year and a “safe” 500 was one where no one got seriously hurt. As our hero, AJ Foyt has said in multiple ways, “This isn’t badminton, damnit, it’s auto racing and it’s DANGEROUS!”

    Maybe we have become spoiled by the safety advances that allow drivers to walk away from accidents far more serious than ones that cost drivers their lives back in our youth

    That said, I could not help but feel that we were being set up for the worst possible news during the “blackout” period yesterday when NOTHING was known for sure. To make matters worse, I was watching from behind by about 15 minutes (to eliminate commercials) and it was torture NOT to fast forward for any news,

    I thought the NBCSN crew handled the news (or lack thereof,) with grace and courtesy, as did most of the drivers.

    The multiple views of the accident don’t bother me; like you, I found the later views somewhat reassuring in that the tub was intact.

    Finally, I know that much like after Vegas, the haters out there will call for an end to oval racing; Frankly, if that’s all they have to contribute, they can go pound sand.

  15. ecurie415 Says:

    I was watching Michael’s interview live, and I was appalled. He doesn’t get a free pass; he came across like a boorish idiot. There’s no excuse for that; not when you’re a team owner and the public face of the team. Show some caring, man. You can stick hot sauce on a sandwich but you’re blaming a guy before knowing his condition.

    If a driver had hit that catch fence and gone through a repaired section, what would people say then? They would have said that Bourdais’ instincts were correct.

    There was nothing fun about wondering if another driver would leave Pocono “awake” and then not be there the next day. Always supposed to be fixed the next time around. HANS. Safer barrier. Safety cell improvements. Fence posts outside the fence. Moore. Renna. Wheldon. Dana. Wilson. Brack. Aleshin. Hinchcliffe. Wickens. You can talk about the old days when it wasn’t surprising for drivers to be killed or maimed, but it’s 2018. Still not ok. Bear in mind, the last five IndyCar fatalities have all been on ovals. We can do this better.

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