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Johnson calls for end to ovals in IndyCar

Elsewhere in the NASCAR paddock, Kasey Kahne was even closer to the tragedy than most of his stock car colleagues. He'd been seriously considering taking up IndyCar's $5m prize challenge to race at Las Vegas on Sunday, until his future team boss Rick Hendrick vetoed the plans.

“I was absolutely thinking about doing it,” Kahne said. “Rick told me he didn't want me to do it, so then it was pretty much over at that point in time as far as doing the race.

"You can never think about if something like that would have happened or wouldn't have happened, you have no control over it," he said, refusing to play the 'what if?' game. "So I don't even think about that. Driving an IndyCar is something I've always wanted to do and definitely thought about doing for that race. It just didn't work out."

In NASCAR, Earnhardt Sr. was the last driver to die as the result of a racing accident. His son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., knew Dan Wheldon personally through shared appearances for their mutual sponsor, the US National Guard.

“He was a really great guy, a really nice person and very friendly ... He was just a real pleasure to be around. It's a tough deal," said Earnhardt. "I can't imagine how everybody, his family and everybody in that series is doing."

But Earnhardt, Johnson, Burton and Kahne did what true motor racing drivers always do at moments of extremis: minutes after sharing their thoughts with the press, they were back in their cars and heading out on track for more test laps.

Just like Dan Wheldon would have done.




Related Pictures

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Jimmie Johnson in the garage area. [Photo credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place racing with Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS who finishes in eleventh place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet SS, finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Ortho Ford, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Gordon is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
A view of a decal placed on the #14 Code 3 Associates / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, driven by Tony Stewart (not pictured), during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 FVP/Menards Chevrolet SS finishes in fourth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finishes in third place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS finishes in second place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies for 2nd position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS celebrates with his team after winning the Pole position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Busch is 33rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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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.

RawDawg

October 18, 2011 11:57 PM

@BoufieWolf 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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