Over the course of the weekend, three different racing series ran the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when the IndyCar, Xfiniity, and Cup Series all ran races. While there were a few issues with the curb in turn six during the IndyCar and Xfinity races on Saturday; the real issues began late in the race on Sunday with the NASCAR Cup Series cars.
The NASCAR Cup Series cars weigh 3,400 pounds each. There were 40 cars in the race running over 80 laps around the track. Late in the race, the drivers began to have issues with the curbing coming up from the track.
After several cars were involved in a big crash that brought out a red flag and put several drivers out of the race. After a second incident, track officials removed the damaged curb away from the track all together. IMS track president Doug Boles was out on the track aiding in the removal and cleanup.
The orange barrier that had caused some issues with the Xfinity Series drivers was removed after the race on Saturday; however the two curbs on the right had side of the track were left in place.
The issue with the turn six curb has caused quite a bit of controversy among drivers and officials.
Both NASCAR Vice President of Competition Scott Miller and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Track President Doug Boles spoke on the issue…
“Obviously that thing had deteriorated after that last big wreck quite substantially. There was no way we could justify leaving it like it was without removing it. There was some debate and it obviously had to come out if we were going to continue.” Miller also indicated that there had been some debate over removing the other curb barrier in turn six, but officials determined that it was not an option because the curb was needed to help slow the cars down.
IMS President Doug Boles noted, “the curbing that delaminated is the same style of curbing that we’ve had since we re-did the road course in 2014, so those curbs have been placed, repaired, so we’ve not really ever had an issue with those curbs at all.” Adding, “we looked at that curb between every session, we looked at it at night and in the morning and there was no indication today that there was really anything wrong with that curbing. So, it was a little bit of a surprise for us when the race had started that we started having issues with it.”
Saying that this would be a leaning experience, Miller and Boles noted that the incident would not affect future road course races at the Brickyard for NASCAR.
Admitting that they had their problems, Miller said, “this is one of those deals where you take a lot of learnings away and come back and put on a better event, obviously avoiding the problems that we had (Sunday). I think that we saw some exciting action out there and I think the course itself puts on a really good show.”
The race at IMS was the sixth road course this season for the Cup Series; but Sunday was the first time that curb barriers caused such carnage.
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