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By Sandra McKee | February 12, 1991
Last November at Atlanta International Raceway, Ricky Rudd's car spun out of control on pit road and killed a mechanic who was changing a tire on Bill Elliott's car. As a result, racing officials have adopted the following rule changes. They will be used for the first time during Sunday's Daytona 500.* RULE: A pace car will lead cars down pit road during each caution lap.REACTION: "The goal was for safety," said crew chief Gary Nelson, who helped draft the new rules. "I think this will make it a whole lot safer.
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By Don Markus and The Baltimore Sun | August 30, 2013
The controversy surrounding Sunday's pit road collision at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma between race leader Scott Dixon's car and a tire being carried by one of Will Power's crew members followed the IZOD IndyCar Series across the country from California to Maryland. But with a rule change announced Friday, the controversy will likely not resurface in Baltimore on Sunday or, officials and drivers hope, any time soon. In the case of the Grand Prix of Baltimore - and for the other three races remaining in the open-wheel season - pit box lines will be clearly drawn.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Evening Sun Staff | February 12, 1991
Ricky Rudd is a soft-spoken race car driver. Despite the rugged business he is in, gentle is a word commonly used to describe Rudd's friendly, boyish disposition, his easy smile, his friendly hello.But four months ago, he came down pit road at Atlanta International Raceway for a pit stop and the boy in him was lost forever.The brakes on his car locked, spinning the 3,500-pound Chevrolet 180 degrees. The car slammed into the right side of Bill Elliott's race car, crushing one of Elliott's crewmen, who was changing a rear tire.
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Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun | September 2, 2011
Having survived an earthquake and a hurricane last week, Baltimore Grand Prix CEO and president Jay Davidson joked that he was "waiting for the locusts. " What descended Friday amid the deafening roar of 180-mph Indy racecars along the 2.03-mile track were a few mild complaints about the pit road area, but otherwise high marks for the track's race readiness for the inaugural event. With a mix of smooth blacktop straightaways that reminded a few of the drivers of other street courses in Brazil and Canada, and slippery stretches of concrete that could make some spots downright treacherous if there's any precipitation this weekend, the track received mostly positive reviews before and after the practice sessions were concluded.
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By Sandra McKee | November 19, 1990
HAMPTON, Ga. -- One of Bill Elliott's crew members was fatally injured in an accident on pit road in yesterday's Atlanta 500.Mike Rich died of injuries suffered when he was hit by a car driven by Ricky Rudd as it did a 180-degree spin on pit road late in the race.Elliott, who looked like a sure winner at the time, was in the pits for a routine stop. Crewman Tommy Cole was jacking up the car and Rich was bent over, about to change the right rear tire, when Rudd's car spun and slammed into them, crushing Rich between the two autos.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | June 14, 2004
LONG POND, Pa. - Nextel Cup driver Jimmie Johnson won the Pocono 500 yesterday, but he had to overcome a major NASCAR blunder to do it. Johnson had listened closely at the pre-race drivers' meeting and knew pit road would be closed the first time he passed it after a caution flag came out. So when the caution came out on Lap 155, he simply tried to catch up to the pace car. "I'm doing my job as the leader of the race," Johnson said. "I don't even look over at the flag because it's my first time by. I look in the mirror and ... everybody's hit pit road.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Staff Writer | May 22, 1992
INDIANAPOLIS -- The final day of practice for Sunday's Indianapolis 500 came and went without mishap yesterday.Mario Andretti, driving his Lola/Ford Cosworth XB, was fastest on the track, hitting 226.409 mph.Andretti's front-row mates in Sunday's 76th annual Indianapolis 500 also were among the top five fastest. Eddie Cheever clocked 224.921, and pole-sitter Roberto Guerrero notched 224.899 mph.Arie Lyuendyk (225.423) and Michael Andretti (225.220) showed they were up to speed with the second and third fastest laps of the day.*Driver relief: Drivers were feeling somewhat better about the new caution rules after a drivers meeting yesterday, where the U.S. Automobile Club announced it will continue the 100-mph speed limit on pit road.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | September 27, 2004
DOVER, Del. - It may still turn out that his 33rd-place finish in New Hampshire last week will cost Ryan Newman the Nextel Cup, but yesterday in the MBNA America 400, Newman drove to a dominating, 8.149-second victory over Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon. The result pulled Newman back into the hunt for the Cup, just 107 points behind Gordon, who leaped two spots into the points lead. "We can't keep being 33rd one week and first the next," said Newman. "But if we can keep the top-fives going, I can guarantee us the championship.
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By Gary Long and Gary Long,Knight-Ridder | May 20, 1991
INDIANAPOLIS -- Willy T. Ribbs coasted his Lola-Buick onto pit road early yesterday afternoon, trailed by a billowing cloud of white smoke.He had already blown four engines. This looked like No. 5. This looked like the end of the road for Ribbs and car owner Derrick Walker and the Bill Cosby-supported quest for a chapter in not just auto racing history but sports history.But "nah," Ribbs said in jubilation after qualifying for the 75th Indianapolis 500 had ended and he had become the first black driver to make the starting field.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Staff Writer | May 21, 1992
INDIANAPOLIS -- When the caution lights come on during Sunday's Indianapolis 500, there will be no mad -- into the pits for fuel and tires.In a move designed for safety, the United States Auto Club, which sanctions this race, has added a rule prohibiting drivers from making pit stops during caution periods until the pace car locates the race leader and the remainder of the field is allowed to close up from behind.The rule has set off a debate among drivers and crews over whether it will increase safety or make things worse.
NEWS
By George Diaz, Tribune newspapers | August 17, 2011
Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch have just been downgraded to the undercard in NASCAR's contentious Summer Slam Series. Make way for Greg Biffle and Boris Said. Their post-race road rage at Watkins Glen on Monday had all the feisty elements necessary for a full-blown rivalry. It doesn't get any better than Said calling Biffle a "scaredy cat" and asking people to text him Biffle's address so he can make an unexpected house call and show him a little vigilante justice. NASCAR officials are investigating the incident because punches were thrown.
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May 11, 2011
As expected, NASCAR officials weren't as amused as some spectators at the shenanigans involving Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick at Darlington Raceway. Each driver has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the next four Sprint Cup Series championship points events through June 15. They were cited for "actions detrimental to stock car racing" — specifically their altercation on pit road after the race. "These penalties are about maintaining a safe environment on pit road," NASCAR communications director Kerry Tharp said.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | September 27, 2004
DOVER, Del. - It may still turn out that his 33rd-place finish in New Hampshire last week will cost Ryan Newman the Nextel Cup, but yesterday in the MBNA America 400, Newman drove to a dominating, 8.149-second victory over Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon. The result pulled Newman back into the hunt for the Cup, just 107 points behind Gordon, who leaped two spots into the points lead. "We can't keep being 33rd one week and first the next," said Newman. "But if we can keep the top-fives going, I can guarantee us the championship.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | June 19, 2004
NASCAR officials spent the early part of this week meeting in Charlotte, N.C., trying to figure out how to solve the embarrassing officiating problems that have struck Nextel Cup races the past three weeks. In Charlotte, N.C., a caution light mistakenly blinked on and off when a NASCAR official "may have inadvertently bumped the switch with his knee." In Dover, Del., NASCAR needed a 24-lap caution to figure out the running order on the track and settle arguments with the competing teams who disagreed with NASCAR's rulings.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | June 14, 2004
LONG POND, Pa. - Nextel Cup driver Jimmie Johnson won the Pocono 500 yesterday, but he had to overcome a major NASCAR blunder to do it. Johnson had listened closely at the pre-race drivers' meeting and knew pit road would be closed the first time he passed it after a caution flag came out. So when the caution came out on Lap 155, he simply tried to catch up to the pace car. "I'm doing my job as the leader of the race," Johnson said. "I don't even look over at the flag because it's my first time by. I look in the mirror and ... everybody's hit pit road.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | June 7, 2004
DOVER, Del. - It was Tony Stewart's race. No, wait, it was Jeremy Mayfield's race. No, no, wait. It was Ryan Newman's. No, Kasey Kahne's. No, wait ... On a day when it took more than five hours to run NASCAR's MBNA 400: A Salute to Heroes race, whose official time was listed as 4 hours, 7 minutes, 19 seconds, it was Mark Martin, a veteran who hadn't won in 72 races, who survived for victory in his No. 6 Ford yesterday. "Man, I forgot what it feels like," said Martin, 45, who hadn't won since the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C., in May 2002.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | November 17, 1997
HAMPTON, Ga. -- Jeff Gordon had already spun on pit road once during this NAPA 500-race weekend, and that little turn of wheel had cost him a race car. So when he came around the fourth turn on the cooldown lap after clinching his second Winston Cup championship yesterday, his mind was working fast.NASCAR officials had told him to follow the pace car down pit road to the post-race celebration. And he thought that was probably all right. Except, of course, that he wanted to show the 152,000 fans in the Atlanta Motor Speedway stands just how happy he was about winning this title, a title that boosted him onto a par with just 12 other Winston Cup drivers who have won more than one championship.
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By George Diaz and George Diaz,ORLANDO SENTINEL | February 23, 2004
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - As the two cars closed hard toward the finish line, even the boys following the leaders felt the adrenaline rush. "I about drove it into Turn 3 watching Kasey [Kahne] trying to win his first race," Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. Kahne's dramatic charge on Matt Kenseth came up inches short, as the nose of Kenseth's Ford scratched the finish line first to win the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway yesterday. "It was a close one," Kenseth said. The margin was one-hundredth of a second.
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By George Diaz and George Diaz,ORLANDO SENTINEL | February 23, 2004
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - As the two cars closed hard toward the finish line, even the boys following the leaders felt the adrenaline rush. "I about drove it into Turn 3 watching Kasey [Kahne] trying to win his first race," Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. Kahne's dramatic charge on Matt Kenseth came up inches short, as the nose of Kenseth's Ford scratched the finish line first to win the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway yesterday. "It was a close one," Kenseth said. The margin was one-hundredth of a second.
NEWS
By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | February 16, 2004
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - President Bush looked at home. Wearing black slacks, a blue shirt and a Daytona racing jacket, the president jumped from his black Suburban and began a 20-minute tour of pit road just before the Daytona 500. "It's great to get out of Washington," he said during an interview on the Motor Racing Network, which was broadcasting the race, shortly after giving the command for the 43 cars in the field to start their engines. "It's a beautiful day and there's an electricity in the air, and it's easy to see why."
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