Shortly after the field took the restart with 84 laps to go in the 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway, the caution came out again after a hard crash that involved Sprint Cup rookie Justin Allgaier (pictured) and David Gilliland.
Allgaier and Gilliland’s cars took severe damage, but the latter’s Ford Fusion came off especially worse. Thankfully, both of those drivers were able to get out of the cars and walk away.
As the field went into Turn 3 on the restart lap, A.J. Allmendinger appeared to briefly get his left-side tires on the apron while trying to pass Paul Menard.
Allmendinger spun out and slid down into the right-rear of Allgaier’s No. 51 HScott Motorsports Chevrolet, which sent him spinning into the oncoming No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford of Gilliland.
After the initial hit, Gilliland went into the SAFER Barrier for a second hard hit that briefly put him airborne. His car caught on fire after the two impacts and its front end was smashed in.
Fox Sports relayed radio transmission between the HScott camp and Allgaier in the immediate aftermath. In a pained voice, Allgaier said that he was fine but out of breath.
“Holy crap, was that a hit,” he gasped.
Both Allgaier and Gilliland were later checked and released from the infield care center. When Gilliland was released, he told Fox that it was “the hardest hit I’ve had in a while.”
“It was just a tough hit and a tough way to end our night,” Gilliland said.
The race would restart with 74 laps to go.
Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.
Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.
Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.
“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.
“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”
The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.
“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.
“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”
The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.