Jeff Gordon Breaks Down the Kerb Debacle at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Published 08/21/2021, 12:45 PM EDT
DARLINGTON, SC – MARCH 15: Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo, waits in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 on March 15, 2003 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)


Last weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there was a massive hullabaloo about the road course track. Sometime in the middle of the race, one of the new kerbs got dislodged and chaos descended on the track. In the wake of the multi-car pileup, former champion Jeff Gordon analyzed the incidents and controversy.

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Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron triggered everything when he clobbered the kerb. After the race, the driver confessed that it felt like hitting a brick wall. For the drivers behind him, as soon as they hit that kerb, they were simply passengers in an uncontrollable crash.

In fact, the more they smashed the kerb, the greater the damage to the track and to themselves. In the end, the officials decided to remove the kerb in its entirety. Jeff Gordon hailed the move, especially when they kept the sausage kerb to prevent drivers from short-cutting the chicane.

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What else did Jeff Gordon say about the incident?

He said, “If I had any complaint about anything, it’s that I wish they had addressed this a little sooner. They saw this piece of metal peeling up, tearing off some splitters. I just wish that there was something more that could have been done. They missed it by 10 laps.”

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – JULY 22: Jeff Gordon, driver of the #88 Axalta Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 23, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

It is also worth mentioning that NASCAR president Scott Miller admitted that the race would have been cancelled. However, this was a last resort and would only happen if they did not remove the kerb. Once the red flag waved, they set about trying to remove the kerbs with crowbars.

He said, “Scott Miller of NASCAR said, had they not figured out a process to get rid of that kerb. There’s a good chance that they would not be able to continue that race right there.”

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It was at that point that everyone realized that the kerb was made out of metal and not concrete. While this may have worked on the IndyCar drivers, NASCAR was a completely different story. Hopefully, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will learn from this mistake and avoid such a debacle in the future.

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Dhruv George

12023 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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