NASCAR » Johnson calls for end to ovals in IndyCar

NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has called for the IndyCar Series to end oval racing, in the wake of the disastrous accident in vegas that claimed the life of Dan Wheldon.

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steve - Unregistered

October 18, 2011 4:10 PM

Short ovals that are 1.5 miles yes, they should be taken off the schedule. However the bigger ovals like Indy should stay, Indy is nearly flat around the circuit anyway.

Mike - Unregistered

October 18, 2011 4:21 PM

Why doesn't Jimmie Johnson just worry about Nascar, Leave Indy car alone. Accidents happen. My heart goes out to Dan Wheldon and his family. The Indy car family will miss him.

ZeR0 Kun

October 18, 2011 5:21 PM

@ Mike

he just gives his view and insight from a racer's eyes. he has a family and kids just like Dan... he simply did not want the same fate to happen to his fellow racers whoever it might be, let it be in indycars or nascars.

Ian - Unregistered

October 18, 2011 7:28 PM

All this we need to cap speeds, abandon ovals is total BS, as long as suitable ovals are used then all will be well. And who's stupid idea was it to allow a 34 car grid at all, especially on a track like Las Vegas? Whoever it was, I hope they can sleep soundly at night!!


October 18, 2011 9:47 PM
Last Edited 1574 days ago

Sorry Ian, but that is not the only solution either. This sensless tragedy should not have happened. If F1 did a circuit like that it would have been limited to 18 cars tops. Most US tracks and cars would not be allowed to race on a FIA category. F1 cars go through extremely stringent crash tests and speeds are and engine r.p.m. restricted, the IRL cars would be condemmed as death traps. Sorry but that many cars at that poor safety standard including the track garenteed this disaster. Maybe it's time for the US series to sign up to the FIA international standard before more tragedies happen.

Steve Huckaby

October 18, 2011 11:08 PM
Last Edited 1574 days ago

The circumstance at Vegas did not GUARANTEE this was going to happen. This wasn't the first time they'd ever been there and certainly isn't the only place with similar conditions. After all, beloved Indy also sees 33 cars and 200+ mph speeds too. It is too narrow a view to only blame the Vegas track and doesn't get to the root cause.

Anytime an Indycar is flying toward the fence, it's a coin toss which way it's facing when it gets there. To date, luck had been on the side of those that hit it tub first. The root cause for flight is the design of the cars and their closeness at speed. I agree that the opportunity for this is higher at some tracks than at others. The reality is though, that this is an Indycar problem, not just a Vegas one, and this could happen anywhere.

cruachan - Unregistered

October 18, 2011 11:48 PM

Banning ovals is not an option, you can't have the IndyCar series without the Indy 500.

Speeds on ovals are an obvious issue though, 225mph is crazy fast never mind 3 and 4 cars running abreast at that speed.

Also a 1.5mile oval is too tight for 34 cars. Indy is 2.5 miles and there is a strict 33 car limit there, all throughout the rest of the season it's been 28 cars max. Unless it's a superspeedway (E.g. Indy, Daytona, Talladega) that limit should have been adhered to.

As I always say about the Superbike World Championship, fans want good close racing. No-one cares about top speeds. If the new V6 engines don't drop speeds to a safer level for ovals then it may be time for restrictor plates in IndyCar too.

Alex K. - Unregistered

October 18, 2011 11:56 PM

As TARHEELGUY41 pointed out, NASCAR instituted the restrictor plate policy as a result of an accident fully 14 years before the passing of Dale Earnhardt.

In 1987 Bobby Allison blew a tire at Talledega, Alabama and hit the catch fencing at 206mph, right in the middle of a spectator grandstand. No serious injuries resulted but had the fence failed it could easily have turned out worse than Pierre Levegh's accident at Le Mans in '55.


October 18, 2011 11:57 PM


Let me interrupt your rant while you are looking down your nose at us death trap racing Yanks who give a toss about safety for a second. It's wasn't the lack of safety or structual integrity in the cars that was the root cause of Wheldon's death. As in the same way of the Greg Moore accident, it was the angle at which the car crash - it hit cockpit first which is essentially head first. Be it an F1 car or open top sportscar or any form of open cockpit racer no matter how many FIA stickers it has on it, going cockpit first at over 220 mph into anything unfortunetly has a very high probability of a bad result.

Don't come on here preaching about the safety of IndyCars like it's some death race series that has fatalities all the time. All the other drivers in that horrid crash are ok. There are crashes on road courses and ovals all the time in IndyCar. There has been no complaints about the structual integrity of the cars or evidence that they aren't fit to protect drivers

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