NASCAR backing Dover track after Cup race is red flagged
|Monday, June 2nd 2014, 16:01 GMT|
NASCAR officials say they have no concerns about the Dover International Speedway track after Sunday's Sprint Cup race was disrupted when a hole opened up in the oval's surface.
Jamie McMurray's Ganassi Chevrolet slid into the wall after it hit a lump of concrete flicked up by a car ahead, with debris also striking a window on a pedestrian overbridge.
The race was temporarily red-flagged while the hole - which NASCAR competition chief Robin Pemberton estimated to be "two or three inches deep, and six or eight inches by maybe 10 inches" - was filled.
Pemberton said NASCAR saw no reason to make any safety or modification recommendations to the track, which next hosts the Cup series on September 28.
"The track doesn't want things like this to happen any more than we do or the competitors do, so this isn't a recommendation [situation]," he said.
"Things happen, and that's that's why we have people that are trained in these types of things, and that's why the group is able to make repairs in 20 minutes or so."
He added that NASCAR's inspection crews "did not see a problem" with that area prior to the race, despite some drivers saying they had spotted an issue earlier in the day.
Race winner Jimmie Johnson said he had noticed the track problem in the morning but assumed that it would have been picked up by circuit workers had it been a serious issue.
"When I was coming to the drivers' meeting, I could just see the corner of one of those slabs... I could see something from afar that just looked like the edge was broken," he said.
"I didn't think much of it. There are countless track vehicles driving around the racetrack, and actually right over the top of it looking at it.
"I saw it from afar and just chalked it up to maybe a bad angle looking at something.
"When I came back around [in the race] and saw that was the spot, I'm like, 'no way, that's what I saw from afar earlier.'"