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Thread: Racing tragedy

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    Default Racing tragedy

    Earlier this afternoon at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon lost his life in an horrific fifteen car accident. Three other drivers were taken to the hospital as well.

    This was the season finale in the Indy series. After a driver's meeting, it was decided to end the race and all remaining cars did a five lap salute to Wheldon. During the salute, the traditional bagpipe music was played over the sound system. Pit crew members and fans stood in a tribute during those laps.

    Prayers for the injured racers to fully heal.

    Prayers for the family, loved ones, friends, and team members of Dan Wheldon.
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    I met Dan a number of years ago when he was racing for Andretti. Hell of a nice guy. I had recorded the race, and started watching right after the game. I made it through the recording just prior to the actual announcement, but I knew before that. You could just tell from some of the reactions before the meeting for the drivers and team owners. My guess was someone leaked that he was being given last rights.

    I've been watching open wheel racing since the late 60's. It had to be the worst crash I've ever saw, taking out 15 cars, and damaging a number of others. I've seen 10 or 11, maybe more drivers / riders loose their life over the years in many forms of racing, and it hurts every time. Couldn't hold back the tears while the remaining drivers did a 5 lap formation in honor of Dan, with Amazing Grace played on the pipes coming over the PA system.

    While little consolation, he died doing what he loved. It's hard for most to understand unless they have raced. Helio summed it up best. He said in an interview a while back that he didn't fear being on the track, he feared loosing his ride.

    God speed Dan, my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.....
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    Other than Wheldon, what was the most serious injury in the 15 car crash ?
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    Haven't heard yet. Two drivers, Pippa Mann and James Hinchcliffe were taken to the hospital to get checked out for dizziness. Will Power was released from the on site care center, and then taken to the hospital too, but they didn't say why. Powers car was one of the ones that got "very" airborn.

    It's amazing how much safer the cars are now compared to 20 years ago. Next years new chassis will be even safer from all I've seen on the subject, with a larger cockpit giving the driver a bit more distance from impacts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles Monroe View Post
    I met Dan a number of years ago when he was racing for Andretti. Hell of a nice guy. I had recorded the race, and started watching right after the game. I made it through the recording just prior to the actual announcement, but I knew before that. You could just tell from some of the reactions before the meeting for the drivers and team owners. My guess was someone leaked that he was being given last rights.

    I've been watching open wheel racing since the late 60's. It had to be the worst crash I've ever saw, taking out 15 cars, and damaging a number of others. I've seen 10 or 11, maybe more drivers / riders loose their life over the years in many forms of racing, and it hurts every time. Couldn't hold back the tears while the remaining drivers did a 5 lap formation in honor of Dan, with Amazing Grace played on the pipes coming over the PA system.

    While little consolation, he died doing what he loved. It's hard for most to understand unless they have raced. Helio summed it up best. He said in an interview a while back that he didn't fear being on the track, he feared loosing his ride.

    God speed Dan, my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.....
    It's no secret that I am a NASCAR fan and my favorite competed for thirty-two years. I always knew that anything could happen, but was glad that he never had a tragic accident.

    I'm sorry to hear that one of your favorites was taken from us. I'm absolutely numb about it. I love racing. Indy car is a lot of fun to watch, but the speeds at Las Vegas were a big concern in recent days. This is just a sad moment that will stay with me for a long time. The bagpipe music and five lap salute was something I will never forget as well.

    Yes, it was the worst crash I have ever seen too. I'll replay many times in my head, but I don't know what could've been done at that moment to stop it from occurring.

    <Sigh>
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    Will Power has been released from the hospital.

    Pippa Mann in fair condition - probably will be released tomorrow.

    JR Hildebrand to be kept overnight for observation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgundy Burner View Post
    Will Power has been released from the hospital.
    With a name like "Will Power", you just KNEW he was going to pull through
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgundy Burner View Post
    Will Power has been released from the hospital.

    Pippa Mann in fair condition - probably will be released tomorrow.

    JR Hildebrand to be kept overnight for observation.
    Sorry for the mix up on the drivers injured.

    Watching two hours of interviews and commentary gave a good deal of insight to that track, and how the drivers feel about it. Most of the drivers were saying the same thing... people going at it too early in the run. Tracks like that aren't the best for Indy cars. When the majority of cars can run flat, it keeps them bunched up. I'm amazed that there hasn't been a crash on this scale before, and it's pure luck it hadn't.

    As they say.... the show must go on.
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    Very nice memorial site for Dan.

    He had signed a contract with Andretti Autosport Sunday morning.....

    Dan Weldon Memorial site
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post
    Jimmie Johnson hit home for me when he said they need to stop racing ovals. They do 225 MPH on those tracks and in cars like the ones they drive thats just crazy.
    Jimmie Johnson doesn't have a friggin clue. Indy cars have been doing over 225 since the late 80's on ovals. They were turning laps just under 230 at Michigan and Indy when they slowed them down.

    It's the track. Way back, the drivers boycotted the track in Texas because there was too much banking, and the drivers were getting about 6G's straight down on top of their heads. More then a few thought they were going to pass out. The track was designed for stock cars that need that banking.

    Vaga's was altered to suit stock cars by adding banking some time ago. It also has a configuration that doesn't have the long straights the real big tracks do. Indy car is at fault for bringing the series back to Vaga's. They should know better, but the all powerful dollar dictates many things.

    You can't race open wheeled cars the same way you do stock cars, and the tracks banking made it easy for everybody to run flat out. That's not a problem on a flatter track that's wider like Indy and Michigan, or the shorter tracks that they have run for years. Indy Car is chasing the fans, going back to venues they haven't been to in years.

    Open wheeled cars were running ovals long before stock cars were actually organized racers. They run lots of ovals every season, with far fewer multi-car crashes then you see in NASCAR.

    Johnson need to actually do a little research before he speaks, or just STFU. It's not that I don't respect the guy, but his opinion is about as useful as tits on a rock when it comes to running an open wheeled race.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post
    jimmie johnson doesnt have a clue? he is in the racing business, he has friends in the indy circuit and im sure he knows a little more than you give him credit for.

    you dog what he says and then back up what he says. he said they go too fast and dont have the chance to react when giong that fast. he said they should race street and courses like that.

    geezus man..you sound like youre all bitter because someone is looking out for his fellow racer.
    Has Jimmie Johnson run in an open wheeled Indy or F1 car ? There different worlds from Stock cars. I take nothing away from NASCAR, and stock car racing or the drivers. I give him a lot of credit as a stock car racer, and nothing more. By your standard, he must be well schooled on motorcycle racing because he drives a stock car, or has a friend who races bikes ?

    Johnson gave a knee jerk reactional statement. I'm not bitter in the least, and would never be for one guy looking out for another. Just like many here are students of the sport of football, I'm a student of motorsports, and open wheeled in particular. I've lived for the sport since I knew what racing was. I love football, but know Indy cars and motorcycle racing better then most. I understand the technical aspects down to the metallurgical level.

    His statement was broad, and somewhat uninformed. Sure, he doesn't want to see people hurt, nobody does. But to say they should only run road and street courses... That would be like taking the best through breads in the world, and letting them only run on a muddy 1/4 mile track.... Cancel the Kentucky Derby because a horse got injured. Maybe limit motorcycle racing to only 70MPH because there's no protection. Racing is the quest for speed.

    As for backing him up, I'm guessing that you're referring to me saying they slowed down Indy cars back in the 80's. They realized the speeds were getting ( 232 MPH if memory serves me) too fast, even on suitable tracks for the technology available at the time. Twenty + years ago, the tire technology was primitive compared to today. Even the areo packages and chassis were crude compared to today. They had to slow them down then. As the saying goes, that was then, this is now. If you think that's backing him after dogging him, so be it. You're entitled to your opinion.

    Today, the cars run in the 220's safely all the time on super speedways. Again, it's not the cars, or the drivers being able to react, the track was the problem. Anybody who gets behind the wheel, or swings their leg over a the seat of a race bike knows exactly what the risk is. This isn't football, with players yacking about putting their livelihood on the line. Racers flirt with a violent death for a living every time they go to work.

    People get hurt... people die. While it's unfortunate, it's part of the game.

    Johnsons statement was a knee jerk reaction to a tragic loss.
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    my younger brother and his wife were at that race. He said it was the worst thing he has seen. very sad.

    they won a sweepstakes prize- trip for 2 to vegas, $1000 shopping spree at Macy's and met w the Izod car driver. (ended up meeting Wayne Gretzky too)...and then end up watching such a tragic crash.
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    This was a tragic loss. I'm a fan of NASCAR and never was a fan of restrictor plates. I understand how and why it was done.

    In a series of events, you had several cars become airborne. The equipment and drivers today are much better than ever. When the car leaves the ground the driver loses all control. Basically you have a big missle. Roush engineered the roof flaps and rails to keep a car from lifting. Then NASCAR implemented restrictor plates as a safety measure.

    What happened in Las Vegas was unfortunate. It is a part of racing. Racers know this can happen, but don't dwell on it or their career is done.

    You ask any racer about the dangers. They will tell you they feel safer on the track, within inches of each other, than on the highway. More people are killed driving on the highway than racing. Again, it was an unfortunate accident, but it was an accident.
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    It's been a rough two weeks. Marco Simoncelli was killed in accident at Malaysian MotoGP.

    Simoncelli, 24, fell from his bike at turn 11 and skidded into the path of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi, losing his helmet in the ensuing collision.

    The race was immediately red flagged as Simoncelli lay motionless on the track and then cancelled altogether once the extent of the Honda rider’s injuries became clear.

    After being transported to the circuit’s medical centre by ambulance Simoncelli was pronounced dead due to “a very serious trauma to the head, to the neck and the chest”.
    Simoncelli killed in crash

    God speed pisan...
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