Jamie McMurray obliterated a piece of concrete in turn two at Dover on Sunday.
No, the concrete wasn't part of the inside or outside wall. It was from the track itself. A pothole developed near a concrete seam in the turn and McMurray slammed into the chunk that had worked its way up from the track on lap 157.
The race was then red-flagged for 22 minutes as track crews – including one man wearing an Earl Weaver Baltimore Orioles shirsey – patched the area. Drivers said the spot was looking a little iffy on Saturday while NASCAR said it found no problems during track inspection.
"When I came up off of the corner, it just felt like I hit something obviously, heavy, and initially I had thought I had blown a tire out," McMurray said. "Because when I hit it it actually pushed the car to the right and I got into the fence a little bit. And as I slowed down, I couldn't figure out first off why I didn't hit the fence harder and then what happened. I didn't see anything, it just hit the front end and ripped the splitter off and it pushed the car to the right."
Because of the red flag, McMurray's crew wasn't allowed to work on his car even though it was an issue with the track that caused his problem. When Jeff Gordon had something similar happen to him in 2004 at Martinsville when his car was damaged by part of the track, his crew wasn't allowed to fix the car. However, last year at the Coca-Cola 600, when the cable holding Fox's cable camera snapped and damaged cars that hit it, the teams with damaged cars were allowed to make repairs.
McMurray was running 16th when he hit the concrete and after his team made the repairs to the front splitter of his car, he was able to work his way through the field in the second half of the race and finish 13th.
A small piece of concrete also flew up from the collision and cracked a window on the Dover pedestrian bridge that runs over the track at the exit of turn two.
Coincidentally, McMurray, who won the Sprint All-Star Race two weeks ago, was the winner of the 2010 Daytona 500. That race was delayed almost 2.5 hours after two red flags to patch a pothole that developed between turns one and two.
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