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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.




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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, races to win Sunday, July 27, 2014 the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, center, celebrates with team owner Rick Hendrick, left, daughter Ella Sophia and wife Ingrid Vandebosch by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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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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