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IndyCar: Massive crash triggered after round of pit stops (VIDEO)

Apr 13, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT

Past Lap 54, Josef Newgarden pitted from the lead in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda. He exited ahead of the Andretti Autosport teammates of Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe.

Hunter-Reay, meanwhile, made an ambitious maneuver to Newgarden’s inside at Turn 4 when going for the lead. RHR, on hot tires, sought to pass Newgarden on cold ones.

They made contact and it triggered a multi-car pileup where Hinchcliffe, Tony Kanaan, and Takuma Sato were all eliminated and Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jack Hawksworth.

Newgarden, who was in podium position, had this to say to NBCSN: “It’s hard to tell. I was on cold tires. I knew RHR was on hot and would probably get me. But so little room in 4, you normally can’t make a pass there. I tried to give him a little room. Next thing I knew I was in the wall. That shouldn’t happen up front.”

RHR’s reaction to NBCSN: “We had a strong car, Newgarden, I knew he was on cold tires. He had some wheel spin and went for it, so I started to back out because he closed the door. I could have waited a bit later, that’s my fault. But if you back it up, I had half a car alongside of him. So I went for it. It’s down to me to make the pass. I made the decision at that split second to go for it.”

Michael Andretti, RHR’s team owner, stressed patience for the 2012 series champion. Sarah Fisher’s reaction is below.

Past the restart, Scott Dixon contacted Justin Wilson at Turn 8, with Dixon emerging unscathed.  It’s been a crazy race.

  1. testover6370 - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    That’s generous of RHR. I feel like Newgarden slammed the door on him, but as my karting instructor stresses, it takes two to make a crash like this.

  2. The Truth - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Indy “massive crash” ….. a few days ago, a semi hitting a bus and killing ten people was a “massive” crash and “massive flames”, according to the article writer. Massive — the most overused word by the press. Check this quote: “The Bengals lost their punter and holder on a massive, massive hit.” So now, a linebacker hitting a punter is “more massive” (i.e., “massive, massive”) than a semi hitting a bus and killing ten. And now, some small Indy cars crashing is “massive” but so too is a semi and bus crash “massive”. Also notice how a 5.2 Richter scale earthquake is “massive” but the recent 8.2 Chile earthquake is also “massive”. I think all journalists went to the same school and the only adjective that the professor taught the students was “massive”.

  3. techmeister1 - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    It sucks to have your race ruined by unnecessary contact. Finishing second is a Helleva lot better than crashing out to 18th or worse.

  4. penskefan - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    After reviewing the video it was obvious that Hunter Reay’s “ambitious maneuver” was nothing more than him sticking his left front wheel into a corner that Newgarden already had control of. First of all, the video clearly shows Hunter-Reay’s left front wheel contacting Newgarden’s right rear wheel. Hunter-Reay was nowhere “half way up his car” as he stated in his post-crash interview within which he also stated that he could have waited for another corner. . Secondly, if anyone saw the post-crash interview for his teammate James Hinchcliffe they would immediately notice how diplomatic Hinch was in stating that “patience is a virtue and today someone was not very virtuous.” I believe that says it all. Lastly, notice how quiet Michael Andretti was when they interviewed him following the crash? When has Michael ever been so quiet when he could blame an accident on a driver not of his team?

  5. Jeff - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Well you don’t see that type of thing in F1.
    But then again you don’t see close racing up and down the grid in F1 like you do in IndyCar.
    I loved what Hinchcliffe said about RHR that it was a “rookie move.” That’s awesome.

    • Vortex Motio - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:22 PM

      “Well you don’t see that type of thing in F1.” Don’t tell that Esteban Gutierrez…

      • Jeff - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:25 PM

        I can’t recall seeing a 7-car pile-up in F1.

    • jobber33 - Apr 14, 2014 at 3:15 AM

      If any kind of incident happens in F1, they look at the video and usually if time remaining hands out punishment right away which could be a pass thru or even park the cars for the rest of the race. So the F1 drivers are well aware of this and you usually don’t see very many big wrecks, if you do they are at the start of the race or restarts when the cars are together. Those tracks aren’t very narrow and don’t have walls right on top of the track.

  6. hkfan5 - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    Whoever is ahead at the turn-in-point for the apex has the corner.

  7. huskyfrk - Apr 14, 2014 at 2:54 AM

    RHR’s ego is so big he can’t admit his screw up. nowhere eclose to claiming the corner. and w a driver on cold tires and zero race wins in front he would have had him by the 1st turn. bone headed stupid. too bad he doesn’t have the balls to admit it.

  8. jobber33 - Apr 14, 2014 at 3:17 AM

    I’m waiting for the Crapcar boys to start blaming Danica for this wreck.

  9. midtec2005 - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    It’s a shame RHR did that, that was going to be an awesome race to the end. It still was pretty good, just different drivers. I just feel bad for Newgarden, that kid is talented but just can’t catch a break. Who knows, if he gets through the technical section on that lap, maybe his tires are up to temperature and he wins. That’s probably why RHR was willing to try such a dumb move.

    • indycarseries500 - Apr 14, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      I think he was more worried about Power on the reds behind them. The sad thing is I think Newgarden, RHR and Hinch were all quite a bit faster and easily could’ve held him off until his reds wore off.

      • midtec2005 - Apr 14, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        Especially at Long Beach, passing there is very difficult.

  10. mcseforsale - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    RHR’s fault. “half a car”….NOT. You hit his rear wheel with your front wheel. That’s NOT half a car.

  11. rho1953 - Apr 14, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    RHR is totally to blame. He went in too deep, too late. There was zero chance of making a safe pass at that time and at that place. Newgarden was unbelievably gracious about the situation. RHR had the better car, all he needed to do was practice a wee bit of patience. He had plenty of time to set Newgarden up and make a clean pass.

  12. photog645 - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    IndyCars crashing on a street course? Is that unusual? I thought they did that every two or three laps!

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