NASCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway discuss the chaos of the race on Sunday
Indianapolis Motor Speedway had the stage for a NASCAR/INDYCAR double-header over the weekend. For the first time, the NASCAR Cup Series rolled onto the IMS Road Course.
It was great. Until it wasn’t…
On lap 77, NASCAR threw the red flag to fix a curbing issue. That red flag followed a caution for debris.
As the went back green, it was complete chaos in turn six. Larson jumped the curb as usual. As he landed, the curb popped up.
Byron was the first car to see the transformed curbing. It ripped the nose of his car right off. Water and oil were sprayed across the track. Many cars behind him his the same curb and suffered the same damage.
Cars were scattered all over turn six. Logano was parked under the tire wall and the red flag was back out.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles
“I thought the energy level of today, our fans that came, was unbelievable,” Boles after Sunday’s race.
“I was so excited this morning to interact with folks. Obviously, the weather was great today. So there are all kinds of positives.”
“Our tickets, if you look at the crowd today, even vs. yesterday [Saturday] when you had Cup, IndyCar and Xfinity all running on the same day, our crowd was 20 percent up today [Sunday] over yesterday and was up over .”
“This is one of those events that we’ve made the right decision for right now. I think we want to have it back again next year on the road course, and we’ll just continue to see where we go. I don’t think the curb issue has any impact on it.”
“We’ve not ever really had an issue with those curbs at all,” Boles said.
“The only curb we ever had an issue with was drivers’ left on exit, which we haven’t seen in a couple of years. We look at that curb between every session. We look at it at night and in the morning. There was no indication earlier today there was even anything wrong with that curb.”
Boles concluded, “So it was a little bit of a surprise for us when during the race we started having an issue.”
NASCAR vice-president of competition Scott Miller
“We had our problems today,” Scott Miller said.
“This is one of those deals you take a lot of learnings away and can come back and put on a better event, obviously avoiding the problems we had today. But I think we saw some exciting action out there, and I think that the course itself puts on a really good show, so I don’t think (NASCAR would return to the oval).”
NASCAR elected to remove the curb following the Byron accident. Without the curb, the track was transformed but that’s the option they had.
“without being able to remove part of the curbing that was damaged, that would have been our only option. Certainly we had a lot of fans here, a lot of energy, a lot of people watching on television. We always strive to finish the race with the checkered flag.”
Deciding to continue without the curb
“If we would have had no other option or couldn’t get those damaged pits out of there, stopping probably would have had to be what we did. The fact that we could take them out, and they could actually race over that part of the racetrack led tot the decision to continue.”
The larger curb, next to the curb that broke, was left in place. Michael McDowell hit that larger curb after going green he nearly rolled.
“When we laid out this track and did Xfinity testing last year before the race, all of the drivers said there absolutely had to be something there because that would have been way too fast of a section,” Miller said. “Removing it really wasn’t an option; it would have been nice if it were. It just wasn’t.”
Mille concluded, “That was the only way we were going to get back to racing today.”