Watkins Glen race red-flagged after vicious multi-car wreck (updated with video)


Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International has been red-flagged on Lap 57 after a vicious wreck involving several drivers in the track’s carousel.

Based upon a TV replay, it appeared that Ryan Newman bounced off the rear of Greg Biffle’s car as both cars jockeyed for position, took a hard right and slammed into the outside guardrail, all but disintegrating.

The wreckage of Newman’s car then bounced back across the track and made hard contact with Michael McDowell, whose car was pushed into the inside guardrail, with pieces of the suspension on his car breaking free upon impact.

“Wrong place, wrong time,” Newman told ESPN. “From my standpoint, Biffle jumped the curb, got the splitters hopping up on the curb, got out, cut across the grass. I probably could have gave him a little more, but I tried to time it so I could shoot past and he slowed down when he got back on the race track.

“It’s really disappointing. We lost (safety specialist) John Melvin in the last couple of weeks and he did a lot of innovations for our sport and it’s really sad that they haven’t adapted any of them here at this track. The SAFER barrier doesn’t exist here. The ARMCO walls, there’s no concrete walls. It’s a very antiquated racetrack and the safety is not at all up to NASCAR standards. It’s a shame that we have to have accidents like that to prove it. Hopefully, something will change the next time we come back here with our Caterpillar Chevrolet.”

McDowell added, “That’s a bad wreck. It seems when I do it, they’re big.”

Here’s an Instagram photo of what’s left of McDowell’s car, courtesy of Motor Racing Network:

This used to be Michael McDowell's car @wgi #cheezit355 #askmrn

A post shared by Motor Racing Network (@mrnradio) on

The outside guardrail suffered enough damage from the impact that track workers had to perform emergency repairs that extended the delay.

Danica Patrick was also caught up in the wreck, suffering significant left side damage. Rookie Alex Bowman also was involved.

It appeared that all drivers were uninjured and climbed from their race cars before being taken to the track’s medical care facility.

Biffle’s car suffered only minor damage to the rear and was able to continue on.

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Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test

Photo: IndyCar
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The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.

Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.

Helio Castroneves was back in an IndyCar on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: IndyCar

Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.

The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.

Results are below.