Jeff Gordon Seeks Smoother Ride At The Glen
By Mike Hembree - SPEED
It isn't difficult for Jeff Gordon, who has mastered the road course at Watkins Glen International, to remember his last trip to the venerable track in New York's Finger Lakes region.
It resulted in one of the most violent accidents of his almost-20-year career.
The wreck happened in the high-speed Turn 9. Kasey Kahne and Sam Hornish Jr. were racing side by side, and Kahne's run through the turn forced Hornish off the track and into a tire barrier. That impact shot Hornish's car across the track in the air, and it collided with Gordon's car, sending Gordon's Chevrolet hard into a guard rail.
Remarkably, no one was seriously hurt, but the crash aggravated Gordon's back problems.
"It was a big impact, but I was more upset with how we ran to put ourselves in that position," said Gordon. "Sam Hornish and ... Kasey Kahne were racing hard, and then Sam went off the track and then ricocheted back across the track in front of me. I had nowhere to go. I think that is a testament to the safety of these cars that none of us involved were injured."
There have been significant changes to the track since then, including paving of runoff areas to prevent cars from becoming stuck in "sand trap" spots adjacent to the track.
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