Labonte OK after massive crash
|By Diego Mejia||Monday, August 11th 2008, 00:20 GMT|
Bobby Labonte has been released from hospital on Sunday following precautionary checks after a massive accident he was involved in, eight laps from the end of the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen.
The former Sprint Cup and Nationwide series champion crashed hard against the stricken car of David Gilliland on lap 82, after the Yates driver had hit the barrier and rebounded into the middle of the track.
Michael McDowell and Gilliland had been battling for position and the pair made contact entering the last corner igniting the multi-car wreck.
Labonte visibly was feeling unwell when he got out of the car and walked towards the pits. He took of his gloves and let them fall on the track and then took his helmet off while an official walking towards him grabbed it for him.
The Petty Enterprises driver was then transported to a local hospital where he was checked an evaluated for any injuries. However he was later released and given the all clear to race next week at Michigan.
"I had a run and I went underneath him and he just didn't give me a whole lot of room," said McDowell about the incident. "Maybe I shouldn't have been in there, but we're racing hard to stay in the top-35 in owner points and try to get back into the top-35 -- that's what we needed to do with our car.
"It's unfortunate and I'm sorry for the fans and all the cars that got wrecked there and then they had to wait through that red flag. I was just racing hard and really it doesn't look much different than how it was with Kyle Busch and Jeff Burton yesterday, but I'm sure they'll make a big deal out of it."
Both Gilliland and McDowell were called to the NASCAR hauler following the race but no action was deemed necessary against either of them.
Another six cars including Dave Blaney, Reed Sorenson, Max Papis, Michael Waltrip, Joe Nemechek and Sam Hornish were also involved in the wreck that required the race to be red flagged for 45 minutes.
Officials had to repair the tyre barrier at the exit of the last corner and clean fluids and sand from the track as Hornish crashed into the containers protecting the pitwall. Amazingly, he was able to rejoin the race later.
No drivers, spectators or photographers behind the guardrail were injured in the crash.