Jeff Gordon uninjured in crash

ByBob Pockrass ESPN logo
Monday, March 2, 2015

HAMPTON, Ga. -- Jeff Gordon was uninjured when he crashed into a concrete wall on the inside of the Atlanta Motor Speedway backstretch Sunday afternoon, a crash that still left him frustrated not just because it knocked him out of the race but also for the lack of an energy-absorbing barrier.

The four-time Sprint Cup champion has seemed to often hit the walls of race tracks that are not covered by a SAFER barrier. The steel-and-foam energy-reduction barrier is designed to keep the driver from suffering injuries by having the barrier absorb some of the forces of the crash.

"I'm very frustrated by the fact that there was no SAFER barrier down there," Gordon said. "I knew it was a hard hit and I didn't expect it to be that hard. I got out and looked, and I said, 'Oh wow, big surprise, I found the one wall here on the back straightaway that doesn't have a SAFER barrier.'"

Kyle Busch broke his lower right leg and his left foot in a crash into a concrete barrier last week at Daytona International Speedway. There is no timetable yet for his return, team owner Joe Gibbs said Sunday morning.

NASCAR, which a little more than a decade ago mandated all of the turns at ovals where it races have the SAFER barrier by 2005 and then made recommendations periodically for additional SAFER barriers, has said it will re-evaluate all tracks to determine where more SAFER barrier should be added. DIS officials have pledged to have their entire oval covered by its next Sprint Cup race in July.

AMS did add tire barriers to some sections of its walls that don't have an energy-absorbing barrier, but where Gordon hit Sunday was not one of them.

"I don't think we can say any more after Kyle's incident at Daytona," Gordon said. "Everybody knows that we've got to do something and it should have been done a long time ago. But all we can do now is hope that they do it as fast as they possibly can."

Gordon's wreck Sunday occurred when Denny Hamlin spun and Gordon got caught up in the aftermath. Gordon finished 41st.

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