I regress to ‘Tommy’ first and the ‘Overture’ from the rock opera for a better explanation.
Some of the most obvious finger pointing for both the initial wreck and the aftermath are being laid upon the ‘eyes in the skies’; the spotters. I have listened to Brett Griffin for close to ten years now, and have much respect for his in race duties as a spotter (and will must likely continue to do so). Some say that Griffin was ‘asleep’ and didn’t warn Sadler early enough when the 19 car was changing its line and moved to the bottom of the track. Frankly, I disagree with that line of thinking.
Understand that the events leading up to this wreck started less than a couple of seconds before. Exiting turn 2 (note, this was also an area of the track the in the pre-race conversations, Brett had mentioned to Sadler that he ‘would have trouble clearing’ because of lack of a clean line of site) the 40 car ahead of the 19 seemed to be a little loose on exit and enable the 19 to close at a pretty high rate. During this time, the 19 was ‘clear’ and Sadler made the decision to change his line and move down the track to attempted to get around the slower 40 car.
I wonder if the 19 car may have lifted slightly or not got on the gas as much as normal during this time (in order not to run into the back of the 40 car) thus allowing for the 38 car to also close from a 3 to 4 car length, to the eventual contact. But all three cars were coming off the corner at significantly different speeds. Just about the time of contact, Griffin announces that the 38 was ‘looking low’, followed by ‘inside’, and we all know the result. My point is, that the time it took for all this to happen was about the time it takes to say ‘That deaf, dumb and blind kid’. Not a lot of time at all.
Some are saying that the 38 should have ‘slowed’ when the 19 came down, and again I disagree. At no time does it appear that the 38 changes his lower line exiting the corner (frankly, he was as low as he could go without driving on the apron, which at Dover is not a good idea) The 38 had a run on BOTH cars and when the 38 ‘stuck his nose’ under the 19, he was simply driving his line. At no time was there a ‘3 wide’ situation and isn’t ‘racing’ taking advantage of an opportunity to pass a slower car? Now had the 19 actually ‘got a nose’ under the 40 car and we would have heard Griffin mention ‘car high’, this 3 wide theory may have some validation. But we all know that Griffin never said this.
There are some pretty high forces on the rear wheels of cars when exiting such a high banked, high speed corner seen at Dover and like we saw, it does not take much contact at all to force the back end around. To me, had this contact occurred just a moment later the results may have been very different. But unfortunately we all know it didn’t.
I have never really been a fan of Tony Stewart but after the past few weeks, one has to get a giggle out of his post wreck comments. I realize that some are taking what he said literally but it is sarcasm at its finest. Lets face it, Sadler has been a thorn in Tony’s side the past month or so and had the roles been reversed, the fireworks would be booming. Heck there are still actually some Kool-Aid drinkers that think ‘Almendingergate’ was an intentional act. Now multiply those feelings times two and the fact that the Chase is looming around the corner.
Bottom line, make all the excuses you want, this was just another example of one of the ‘racin dealios’. It happens, and will happen again. Of course had this happened on corner entry and not corner exit, all bets are off.