Brad Keselowski called for another “safety revolution,” criticizing the angle of an inside barrier that the defending Brickyard 400 winner struck during a heavy impact Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The wreck occurred with two laps left in the stage when Erik Jones was trying to pass Keselowski on the inside in Turn 2. Jones slid up into Keselowski, whose No. 2 Ford hit the outside wall and caromed back across the track into a tire barrier located against the inside wall.
Keselowski’s car hardly scrubbed off any speed after the first impact and had a violent collision with the tires. He crawled from the car, which was propped up by the protruding wall and barrier.
“I probably came down on Erik just a little bit more than I thought I did, and he got loose, no air on the car,” Keselowski told NBC’s Kelli Stavast. “I hit the wall there, and there’s this spot on the wall with just an atrocious angle.
“I don’t know what that spot is for, but it does not need to be there. We found it. That’s how racing goes. You find the things and we found this. This track really was part of the safety revolution about 15, 20 years ago. I think it’s time for another.”
The SAFER barrier was developed by Indianapolis Motor Speedway and made its debut at the 2.5-mile oval in 2002. The energy-absorbing walls (which are constructed of steel and Stryofoam) since have been mandated by NASCAR at all of its tracks.
Jones, who also was eliminated in the wreck, took the blame after being checked and released from the care center.
“I got loose and made a mistake,” Jones, who locked into the playoffs by winning last Monday’s Southern 500, told NBC. “I didn’t think Brad was going to be too tight on me, and I just lost it. It’s my fault. I feel bad for (Keselowski), and I feel bad about our team as well. It’s a shame … Wasn’t anticipating enough and drove in too hard for it.”
The wreck resulted in a red flag to replace the tire barrier.
After the race, IMS President Doug Boles told Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass he’s already had a conversation with Keselowski about improvements that could be made to that area he hit.