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Tuesday
Oct182011

Crowded Track, Young Drivers Factor in Fatal Indy Crash, Expert Says

Robert Laberge/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- A factor contributing to the crash that killed two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was that the track had a crowded field of cars and that many of the drivers were not experienced with the steeply banked Las Vegas Motor Speedway, said Terry Blount, the senior writer of motor sports for ESPN.com.

Blount said the track’s layout -- a high-banked, 1.5 mile long oval -- meant that drivers never let off the gas at 220-plus mph while driving in a big pack.

“They just go flat out all the way around,” he said.  “They never let off the gas.”

Because of this, in addition to the lack of fenders on the cars, he said, “If you touch wheels, you’re more than likely going to have an accident.”

Besides the usual safety concerns, Blount told ABC News that Sunday’s race had involved 34 cars -- usually there are 20 to 25 for a track like this -- and that Indy had not raced since 2000 at Las Vegas, which had undergone a reconfiguration nearly four years ago.

“Obviously more cars presents more danger.  They wanted a whole lot of cars cause obviously this is their season finale and they wanted it to be a big deal.  Some of the people that were driving in this event yesterday had no business being in it.  Some of them had never driven on a track like this.  That was a mistake,” he said.

He said the race would likely not have that many drivers again and would likely have more requirements for younger, less experienced drivers they allow to race on a similar track.

IndyCar said via email that there were no representatives available for interviews at the time of posting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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