Ambulance Accident Ruins Strong Night For Kenseth

Nigel Kinrade/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

RICHMOND, V.A— In a day that was close to perfection, the day quickly went downhill for Matt Kenseth and the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team coming down for a pit stop during a caution period.

As the field was coming down pit road during a caution that flew for a spin by Danica Patrick, an ambulance was parked right at the commitment line resulting in the field having to dodge the vehicle. As the field checked up trying to avoid the ambulance, Kenseth rammed into the rear of Clint Bowyer resulting in damage to the radiator.

“We were all getting on pit road and I didn’t feel like I was going that fast and there’s an ambulance parked out there, so everybody stopped. I just couldn’t get stopped in time,” said Kenseth.

The team tried to find a way to repair the car, but deemed the car unfixable and potentially imploding his chances of making the playoffs.

“Ran good early on, didn’t run as good that run and I got ourselves behind to get us in that spot to start with, so hopefully we’ll make it in, but if we don’t there’s still 10 weeks left and we’re going to go out and get some wins.”

This is the second race at Richmond that saw a safety vehicle impair drivers going onto pit road. Back in the spring, an incident with a safety vehicle caused problems for Kyle Busch.

Scott Miller, senior vice president of competition, discussed the incident after the race.

“We obviously have to do our due diligence.  It’s not like this is a common occurrence for us.  It was a very strange thing.  The track workers are usually very, very good at following the directives.  Tonight they didn’t follow the directive

from the tower.  We will do our due diligence to figure it out,” said Miller about stopping these things from happening in the playoffs.

Miller believes that the sanctioning body should have closed the pit road, but because of the fluency of the situation, the calls were not in sync from the race director and the person in charge of the track services and safety team. Miller was adamant that the directives given by the tower were not followed.

During the week, NASCAR will call all the parties involved in the accident into a room and reconstruct the accident to determine how to make sure that the accident does not happen again.

One Comment

  1. daniel braun

    September 10, 2017 at 12:28 am

    the calls were not in sync from the race director and the person in charge of the track services and safety team. Boom there is your problem right there. The race director should be in-charge of all calls directly to all vehicles on the track and not have to go threw someone.

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