Harsh words were aplenty following a 5-car accident in Turn 2 of the opening lap of the ABC Supply 500 at the Pocono Raceway.

The accident unfolded on the Long Pong Straightaway as Takuma Sato attempted to pass the Andretti Autosport pair of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi.

The Rahal Letterman Racing driver was trailing Scott Dixon’s No. 9 PNC Bank Honda when he moved left and collected Rossi and Hunter-Reay. The trio slid into the inside wall before bouncing back into the traffic – collecting Felix Rosenqvist which pitched into the catch fence – eerily similar to Robert Wickens’ catastrophic shunt a year ago.

His car did not get flung by the fence and landed on the racing surface.

Sato also got turned upside down and landed on the rear of RHR’s machine while James Hinchcliffe crashed further back.

Safety efforts were focused on Sato, but the Japanese driver walked away under his power. Rosenqvist slowly climbed out of his car before being transported by ambulance to a local hospital for “non-life-threatening injuries.”

Rossi angrily pulled no punches and pointed the blame squarely on Sato.

“I didn’t get a good start, and that was on me. but then we were three-wide and Sato was on the outside,” Rossi told NBC Sports after the wreck, who was second to Josef Newgarden in the standings entering today’s race. “I can’t begin to understand, after last year, how Takuma thinks any kind of driving like that’s acceptable, to turn across two cars at that speed in that corner in a 500-mile race is disgraceful and upsetting.”

Hunter-Reay echoed his teammate’s sentiments but noted that picking off spots at the beginning is a premium given the package.

“This is ridiculous," Hunter-Reay told NBC Sports. "Thank God everybody’s all right, you know. I thought we learned our lesson here, lap one of a 500-mile race. From my perspective I had a nice clean run on Rossi, I was almost three-quarters of the up way past him and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere I’m backwards.

“I saw myself hit the inside wall and saw myself coming back into traffic. I could see the field coming as I’m backing into it and I thought, man this could be really bad. Then I saw Felix go up into the fence and we have fence repairs again.

“It is so important to gain positions at the start, because it is a track position race. It’s not like it used to be here, where if you had a good car you could knife through it. I came from the back three times one here and went all the way to the front. You can’t do that right now, so I think a lot of guys felt the pressure to gain some spots at the beginning…and it all hand-grenaded.”

Sato expressed remorse for causing the accident.

“I feel sorry for the guys,” he told NBC Sports. “Ryan and I were obviously racing out of Turn 1, and it looks like Alexander had a slow start and we went left and right of him. I thought I was clear, and unfortunaely we got together.”

A lengthy fence repair commenced and the race restarted 45 minutes later with Simon Pagenaud in the lead.

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