NASCAR explains ambulance pitlane incident during Richmond Cup race

The NASCAR Cup Series has explained how an ambulance was able to drive down pitlane entry as the field pitted under caution during last weekend's regular season finale at Richmond

NASCAR explains ambulance pitlane incident during Richmond Cup race

Danica Patrick's spin on lap 256 of the 400-lap race triggered a caution that prompted a number of drivers to pit while an ambulance was entering the pits.

Polesitter Matt Kenseth damaged his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota's radiator after hitting Clint Bowyer as those pitting slowed to avoid the ambulance.

Other drivers swerved onto the track before crossing back over the pitlane line, with NASCAR waving all commitment line violations during the incident.

NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller explained that the ambulance driver had ignored a race tower instruction.

"We had a situation where a directive was given from the tower and it wasn't followed," said Miller.

"We'll do our due diligence to figure out why the directive wasn't followed and make sure we're prepared never to make that mistake again."

Miller admitted closing pit road could have prevented the incident.

"We probably should [have closed pit road]. Those calls are very dynamic in that they happen very, very quickly," he added.

"It's the race director in charge of pit road open and close and the track services and safety crew in charge of the other.

"We didn't sync up tonight. We will make sure that we don't let that happen again.

"It's very tight at pit-in and as I said, we will analyse the situation and do a better job."

Kenseth said he had not seen the ambulance in time to avoid hitting Bowyer.

"We were all coming to pit road and I saw an ambulance sitting there," said Kenseth.

"I looked left of the ambulance at the same time [Jason] Hedlesky [Kenseth's spotter] yelled at everyone to stop, there was an ambulance just sitting there.

"It was an accordion effect and I just couldn't get stopped.

"[I'm] not really sure why pit road was open with an ambulance parked there, but everybody stopped and I didn't see it in time and ran into the car in front of me.

"It's a very narrow entry. Pit road speed is pretty fast - 45 miles an hour or something.

"Still I shouldn't have hit the car in front of me, but I can't say I was expecting to see an ambulance blocking me."

Regular season champion Martin Truex Jr described the incident as "inexcusable".

"I was thinking that whoever hits the button to open pit road needs to pay attention to what's going on on the race track," said Truex.

"It's not like it was a big surprise.

"The emergency vehicles were riding down backstretch next to us as soon as we came off of 2 and continued all the way until the opening of pit road.

"Somebody obviously wasn't paying attention or wasn't doing their job properly and in my opinion, at this level, it's inexcusable."

shares
comments
NASCAR Richmond: Larson takes dramatic overtime victory

Previous article

NASCAR Richmond: Larson takes dramatic overtime victory

Next article

Dale Earnhardt Jr apologises to fans for missing NASCAR playoffs

Dale Earnhardt Jr apologises to fans for missing NASCAR playoffs
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020