Big shunt at Watkins Glen

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15,567
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Anyone watching the race just see the accident with Newman and McDowell? Looks like McDowell's differential housing was ripped out of the car and pole vaulted him into the catch fencing. I 100% agree with Ryan Newman's interview. He has an engineering degree from Purdue and has on numerous occasions offered to help NASCAR with safety initiatives. Maybe NASCAR should run the full course and force Watkins Glen to let someone like Newman or the FIA make the needed improvements.
 
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5,091
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USA
Look at the travesty that happened that killed JD McDuffie,there have been improvements since then,to slow cars at that corner,but obviously not enough has been done.Thankfully this one wasn't fatal.
 
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Virginia
Need to do again what they did in the 70's, reduce engine size. They went from 400+ cubic inch engines to the current 360. Now it's time to go to 318's. I would start at the two restrictor plate races, (Daytona and Talladega) then the entire schedule the next year.
 
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N.C.
Or safer barriers on every turn at every track, make the drivers wear Michelin man suits, require that they all run 25 hp Briggs and Stratton engines [except at superspeedways where restrictor plates will be used to reduce said 25 hp down to no more than 20 hp] and require a mandatory red flag stop at midway point to allow drivers a 30 minute rest/nap break and on and on and on....! It's racing for goodness sakes...it's dangerous for goodness sakes....if you don't have the !!!!'s to do it then do something else for a living....GEEZZZ!
 
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San Antonio, Texas
Originally Posted By: gman2304
Or safer barriers on every turn at every track, make the drivers wear Michelin man suits, require that they all run 25 hp Briggs and Stratton engines [except at superspeedways where restrictor plates will be used to reduce said 25 hp down to no more than 20 hp] and require a mandatory red flag stop at midway point to allow drivers a 30 minute rest/nap break and on and on and on....! It's racing for goodness sakes...it's dangerous for goodness sakes....if you don't have the !!!!'s to do it then do something else for a living....GEEZZZ!
+100000
 

bdcardinal

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Sorry if I have a different view on this stuff. I was at Las Vegas Speedway when Dan Wheldon was killed. I remember being 10 and a huge Senna fan and watching him die on live TV. There is inherent danger in racing that will always exist. But when there is the ability to make it safer, those steps need to be taken.
 
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the canyons
Racing is dangerous. The only sure way to prevent the possibility of death during a race, is to not race at all. No one I know that races Professionally, wants to stop, despite the risk. We have a death at a Sprint Car race making news right now, because a driver made a very bad decision to get out of his car, and then walk onto the track where cars were still driving, and he was hit. In the racing series I'm a part of, when someone is killed, new regulations always follow. The reason we now race 1000 ft, is due to the untimely death of friend and colleague, Scott Kalitta. The helmet bumpers that limit head side movement, are a direct result of the untimely death of Eric Medlen. We have the shroud around the back of the rollcage, due to the untimely demise of Darrell Russell. The list goes on. Bottom line is everyone involved knows the risks. Even the fans know the risk they accept just by being at the track during a race. If they aren't aware of the risk prior to attending, they are made aware by the numerous disclaimers alerting them to potential for injury or even death, just from being on premises.
 
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Great skill plus big ones plus great judgement equals a great driver. Big ones without a comensurate level of skill and judgement makes for a dead driver. To me, Juan Manuel Fangio was the ultimate combination of skill, judgement and courage, winning five world championships in seven seasons racing on tracks and in cars far more dangerous than anything seen in the past few decades. The thing is, most professional drivers aren't Fangio and shouldn't have to die because of it.
 
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Michigan
Originally Posted By: NHGUY
Look at the travesty that happened that killed JD McDuffie,there have been improvements since then,to slow cars at that corner,but obviously not enough has been done.Thankfully this one wasn't fatal.
The improvements after JD McDuffie's death, and Tom Kendall's crash in 1991 happened almost immediately. They added a chicane before turn 5 and called it the Inner Loop. It shortened the backstretch coming out of the Esses which decreases top speed, and it gives the driver another couple of seconds to make other plans for slowing or spinning the car if he has brake failure.
 
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Perth, Western Australia
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Great skill plus big ones plus great judgement equals a great driver. Big ones without a comensurate level of skill and judgement makes for a dead driver.
Senna died because some ham fisted hack at Williams bodged a steering column modification and it let go mid corner. Nobody has died in F1 since. Sometimes concessions are made toward safety, but if they are done right they fade into history and the racing continues to be good.
Originally Posted By: gman2304
Yes, the open wheel cars are a totally different animal.
Yep, they can turn both left and right smile
 
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N.C.
They were turning left and right yesterday at Watkins Glen. The open wheeled/open cockpit cars are much faster and much more dangerous and have much less protection than the Nascar cars, yet Nascar is doing whatever they can to slow them down. Bill Elliot qualified at Talladega in 1987 at 212.809 mph! The race was sold out. Take a look at the stands at the majority of venues in Nascar today and you'll see all the empty seating, whole sections are empty. And Nascar can't figure it out. Lose the restrictor plates and Nascar will have to build extra seating at all the tracks. I vote for bringing the non restricted big blocks back....I know cars have been trying to fly even with restrictor plates as Bobby Allison did in 1987 and Carl Edwards did in the exact same spot at Talladega in 2009. The crashes were very similar, however Edwards was running considerably slower than the non restricted Allison in 87. As I said earlier, if you don't have the !!!!'s then find something else to do for a living!
 
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2,302
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ohio
Originally Posted By: gman2304
They were turning left and right yesterday at Watkins Glen. The open wheeled/open cockpit cars are much faster and much more dangerous and have much less protection than the Nascar cars, yet Nascar is doing whatever they can to slow them down. Bill Elliot qualified at Talladega in 1987 at 212.809 mph! The race was sold out. Take a look at the stands at the majority of venues in Nascar today and you'll see all the empty seating, whole sections are empty. And Nascar can't figure it out. Lose the restrictor plates and Nascar will have to build extra seating at all the tracks. I vote for bringing the non restricted big blocks back....I know cars have been trying to fly even with restrictor plates as Bobby Allison did in 1987 and Carl Edwards did in the exact same spot at Talladega in 2009. The crashes were very similar, however Edwards was running considerably slower than the non restricted Allison in 87. As I said earlier, if you don't have the !!!!'s then find something else to do for a living!
What about spectator safety? When Edwards flipped, pieces of the car still made it into the stands. if he was doing 220 MPH, the entire car might have went into the stands. If you think the empty seats are from NASCAR slowing the cars down, you're not paying attention.
 
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4,553
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N.C.
To average almost 213 mph for a qualifying lap Bill Elliots straightaway speeds I'm sure were approaching the 220 mph mark you mentioned. I'm sure Allisons speed was greater in 87 than Edwards was in 09...and the fence kept his car out of the stands, as well as Edwards. Parts and debris from a car killed 80 spectators in 1955 at Le Mans. The fences were reinforced but they didn't slow the cars down. A cable holding a camera broke at Lowes motor speedway a few years ago sending quite a few fans to the hospital, and after Kyle Buschs car hit the same cable, he failed to finish the race. Richard Petty tragically killed a young spectator 50 years ago during a brief stint as a drag racer. As I said, racing is dangerous, for fans and drivers...just read the back of a ticket stub at any NASCAR sanctioned track. A number of things contribute to the lack of race fan attendance, from the economy, to the $8 hotdogs and the $6 dollar cup of ice with 4 ounces of Coke in the cup. Slowing the cars down while they run nose to tail for 4 hours and then race for the last 5 laps does not help they're attendance numbers. Finally, NO, I don't pay much attention to NASCAR.
 
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SE Pa
I drove Watkins Glen just last month. Great track. There's no way to make any decent track or car completely safe in a competitive setting. That's why there's only professionals behind the wheel on race day. . . . P.S., Nickels BBQ in town there was pretty decent.
 
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