Brickyard Notes: No Laps For Sadler
By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer
Indianapolis – The action got fast and furious during the first lap of Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
That’s when Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota stepped out of line in Turn 2 and made contact with Sam Hornish’s Dodge.
The contact triggered a seven-car pileup, which left Elliott Sadler and Reed Sorenson with major damage.
“This is two years in a row where we haven’t made a lap yet,” Sadler said. “Last year we had engine problems and oil leaks and then we wreck today. (Busch) spun out and we were trying to get checked up, but there was nowhere to go.”
Grass problem: Busch’s spin below Turn 2 wound up knocking sod onto the racing surface. The grass wound up on the nose of several cars, including Robby Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, A.J. Allmendinger and Dale Earnhardt Jr., and caused them to overheat prior to lap 10.
Several laps later, Gordon’s tough luck continued when the right-front tire exploded on his No. 7 Toyota. He wound up shredding the right-front fender as he limped back to pit road.
Ryan Newman suffered a cut left-rear tire while running seventh during the opening laps. After pitting for fresh rubber, he was forced back to pit road two laps later for another left-rear flat tire. A fender rub was cited as the culprit.
Drinking problems: Clint Bowyer received a warning from NASCAR during the debris caution on lap 118 that he changed lanes too quickly on an earlier restart. While riding around under the same caution, Bowyer keyed his microphone and said: “If NASCAR is listening, I think it’s a joke that they let drivers throw their water bottles out of the car. (Those drivers) ought to have to go to the end of the line. (Safety workers) have to spend time picking up those bottles.”
Empty feeling: The lingering memory of the tire debacle, which limited teams to short runs at the 2008 Brickyard 400, and the sluggish economy contributed to thousands of empty seats at IMS on Sunday. Unofficial press box estimates figured the crowd to be between 120,000 and 130,000 spectators. The seating capacity of IMS is 257,000.
– Jeff Hood can be reached at email@example.com Comments