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Thread: Who had the worst crash at Indy?

  1. #61
    Lotus, how would the 500 be different if Renna's wreck happened on race day?

  2. #62
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    Sachs and McDonald...200 gallons of gasoline and no fuel bladders...red flag for 1 hour and 45 minutes...and total silence.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Tree0404
    worse than smiley????
    You could say, yes... my wife is at Methodist Hospital and was there when TR was brought in.
    "You know what the trouble about real life is? There's no danger music." - Jim Carey

  4. #64
    Registered User Jag-lover's Avatar
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    Justhalc,

    Based on what I've read the lower row of the grandstand was damaged by the debris. On raceday this is where a number of handicapped patrons are located so it is likely a number of them would have been killed or injured. Secondly the unfortunate Mr. Renna's remains were entangled in the fence so having that in full of thousands of fans and having to watch the race staff remove him from the fence and make the necessary repairs would have been most unsettling.

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Saw150
    Sachs and McDonald...200 gallons of gasoline and no fuel bladders...red flag for 1 hour and 45 minutes...and total silence.
    MacDonald's car held exactly 44 gallons; all in the left side. And I'm just guessing but Sachs' car likely held a little more. Probably around 50 to 60 gallons. So it was closer to 100 gallons instead of 200. Actually, the cars running on gasoline carried fewer gallons than did those running on methanol. There were a couple of roadsters that did carry around 100 gallons of methanol. Part of the reason for everyone adding fuel capacity that year was that both Firestone and Goodyear (even though they didn't run in the race) came up with tires that didn't need to be changed which meant some cars thought they could run the race on a single pit stop.

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Jag-lover
    Justhalc,

    Based on what I've read the lower row of the grandstand was damaged by the debris. On raceday this is where a number of handicapped patrons are located so it is likely a number of them would have been killed or injured. Secondly the unfortunate Mr. Renna's remains were entangled in the fence so having that in full of thousands of fans and having to watch the race staff remove him from the fence and make the necessary repairs would have been most unsettling.
    This is what I have heard as well. I also heard that what was NOT caught in the fence or up in the seats was wedged UNDERNEATH the raised grandstand section of the North Vista. That is why this crash is so mind boggling to me. I can't fathom what it took to create this amount of total devistation.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Jag-lover
    Justhalc,

    Based on what I've read the lower row of the grandstand was damaged by the debris. On raceday this is where a number of handicapped patrons are located so it is likely a number of them would have been killed or injured. Secondly the unfortunate Mr. Renna's remains were entangled in the fence so having that in full of thousands of fans and having to watch the race staff remove him from the fence and make the necessary repairs would have been most unsettling.
    Nothing big cleared the fence. There were the normal bits of carbon fiber and rubber that got through the fence but nothing worse than happens in many other crashes. Several people were hit by bits last year when Meira rode the wall in Turn One but there weren't any real injuries. Guys I talked to at IMS said that everyone was relieved to know that the fence in Turn Three kept everything out of the stands just like it was supposed to and there was no need to add anything additional in the way of spectator protection after the Renna accident.

  8. #68
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    Absolutely right, rjc!



    Quote Originally Posted by indyrjc
    More importantly if he had been wearing a properly mounted seat belt. That was his real downfall. He would have walked away if NASCAR would have properly inspected his belt and seat mountings and locations. To cover themselves they cowardly pointed a finger toward the manufacturer.
    It's a 2.5 mile oval of asphalt-covered bricks, used just three times a year. Yet it hascome to be the worldwide symbol of auto racing. More than that, it is our city's beacon to the entire globe, the main reason everyone knows there is an Indianapolis somewhere in the vast interior of America.

  9. #69
    Insider beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyrjc
    MacDonald's car held exactly 44 gallons; all in the left side. And I'm just guessing but Sachs' car likely held a little more. Probably around 50 to 60 gallons. So it was closer to 100 gallons instead of 200. Actually, the cars running on gasoline carried fewer gallons than did those running on methanol. There were a couple of roadsters that did carry around 100 gallons of methanol. Part of the reason for everyone adding fuel capacity that year was that both Firestone and Goodyear (even though they didn't run in the race) came up with tires that didn't need to be changed which meant some cars thought they could run the race on a single pit stop.
    The most chilling verbal description of this accident for me came from Lone Star JR who said that he found the lemon slice that Eddie Sachs always wore with a string around his neck . How that got in Jr's engine compartment, one would hate to even think about.
    "My favorite time of the day at the Speedway during the month of May was just after dusk, after the track had closed down for day, I used to go out and sit on the pit wall and just listen and think"~ Dick Ralstin

  10. #70
    Insider beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tree0404
    So, in other words you're saying all the talk about "trying to revive Renna" and "he was pronounced dead at the hospital" was probably just a way of making it sound like it wasn't as bad as it was.....unfortunately it sounds much like the Smiley accident, if not worse, in that it was painfully obvious right from the start that he was no longer with us.
    Drivers almost never "die" at a track, that would then involve investigations and a coroner. motor sports in general have been very protective of these horrible circimstances as to avoid "complications" A driver is almost always pronouced dead at the hospital never at the track of record.

    Right, wrong or otherwise it has pretty much always been that way..

    How ever it is handled it always a day that we loose another driver and that is a tragedy beyond words

  11. #71
    Registered User Jag-lover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyrjc
    Nothing big cleared the fence. There were the normal bits of carbon fiber and rubber that got through the fence but nothing worse than happens in many other crashes. Several people were hit by bits last year when Meira rode the wall in Turn One but there weren't any real injuries. Guys I talked to at IMS said that everyone was relieved to know that the fence in Turn Three kept everything out of the stands just like it was supposed to and there was no need to add anything additional in the way of spectator protection after the Renna accident.
    indyrjc,

    I got this from the tonnyrenna.net site:

    Video of the aftermath showed the damage was so severe that the first layer of grandstands in the south chute was damaged. The grandstands are set back from the fence and on race day, it's where handicapped patrons watch the race from their wheelchairs.
    It is likely eyewitness accounts will vary somewhat but nonetheless it was a tragic accident that robbed racing of a rising star with a ton of personality and potential.

  12. #72

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by stpwildcat
    jesus... that's insane...

  14. #74
    I do think the ICS has done a WONDERFUL job protecting their drivers all around over the past decade. Other than some injuries to Power, Kanaan and Meira and of course the Dana incident (Driver error, not much is going to save a driver when they make a mistake like that... Not starting a flame war, please...) We have seen all our drivers get up and walk away...

    Look at Brayton's accident from years ago... That looks tame compared to the Meira accident...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3FIL64Puko&NR=1

    Safer Barriers are great and I'm glad that safety has come as far as it has...

  15. #75
    All fatal wrecks are about equally as bad, though I view those in which the driver is instantly killed as a little bit "better," for lack of a better word, because he suffered no pain. Wrecks like Dave MacDonald's or Swede Savage are much more gruesome to me because of the pain and suffering they experienced before they passed. J.R.'s description of MacDonald's last hour in the infield care center is pretty heart-rending.
    I've been very fortunate (and infinitely thankful) that I have yet to see a fatal accident unfold in front of me, and I pray that I never will. I thought Cogan's in '89 or Jim Guthrie's in '98 might have qualified but thankfully I was wrong on both counts.

  16. #76
    Insider lotuspoweredbyford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justhalc
    Lotus, how would the 500 be different if Renna's wreck happened on race day?
    Out of respect for Tony Renna's family and friends, I'm not going to answer that question in any fashion.

    All I can say is this, the statement rosco made is 100 percent correct. And if you take rosco's statement as being 100 percent correct, and add in the notion of it happening on race day in front of hundreds of thousands of people you'll understand my answer better.
    "I think of Indianapolis every day of the year, every
    hour of the day, and when I sleep, too. Everything I
    ever wanted in my life, I found inside the walls of
    the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
    - Eddie Sachs.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by LonestarSR
    ...or Jim Guthrie's in '98...
    That was a HUGE hit that many have forgotten about...

    But to me, it was Emmo who had the worst crash at Indy...

    About to lap the entire field and BLAM!!...into the turn 4 wall...
    Ed Carpenter...2013 Indianapolis 500 Pole Winner!

  18. #78
    Rookie Rosco's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by indyrjcMore importantly if he had been wearing a properly mounted seat belt. That was his real downfall. He would have walked away if NASCAR would have properly inspected his belt and seat mountings and locations. To cover themselves they cowardly pointed a finger toward the manufacturer.


    I do believe the Dale must have loosened his belts, sat back relaxed, waiting to see one of his cars take the checkered flag and his other car finish 2nd. Nothing will make me believe any different.

    I have the same feeling about Bin Laudin, I believe he has been dead for years, received his fatal injuries from one of our bunker busting bombs, I can't believe anyone could stay out of site for 6 or 7 years, plus with the reward being offered for him, if he were alive someone would have turned on him just like they did on Saddam Hussein, there is no way in hell that we just stumbled upon that hole in the ground, one of his own turned on him.
    If it weren't for the United States military,
    there'd be NO United States of America.


    Your son is depriving a village some where of an 'idiot'

  19. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by lotuspoweredbyford
    Out of respect for Tony Renna's family and friends, I'm not going to answer that question in any fashion.

    All I can say is this, the statement rosco made is 100 percent correct. And if you take rosco's statement as being 100 percent correct, and add in the notion of it happening on race day in front of hundreds of thousands of people you'll understand my answer better.


    Thank you.

    One (not in Indycar racing but an Indycar driver) was Roch Voglers's. I remember watching the race that night. I wasn't a fan of Rich but he was nothing but pure talent who drove harder than any driver I have ever seen in my life (even harder tha AJ and Tony). His death was one I cried about. I had ALOT of respect for that man.

  20. #80
    Runnin down a dream cbreez99's Avatar
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    Regarding Earnhardt, I have always stated he caused his own death by loose belts, not improperly installed belts. His previous tumbles have proven his installations were just fine.

    Remember there was a red flag about 20-25 laps before his wreck. During a red flag, most drivers loosen their belts for a breather. I have done this myself in my racing days. I am convinced he didn't tighten them back up properly when they started again. It's easy to do. That's what killed him in a relatively harmless looking wreck. I read a statement from Bill Elliot once saying that he thought the same thing. My only confirmation of my theory.
    Ignorant men marvel at extraordinary things. Intelligent men admire simple things.

  21. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by lotuspoweredbyford
    Out of respect for Tony Renna's family and friends, I'm not going to answer that question in any fashion.

    All I can say is this, the statement rosco made is 100 percent correct. And if you take rosco's statement as being 100 percent correct, and add in the notion of it happening on race day in front of hundreds of thousands of people you'll understand my answer better.
    Not a problem, I was just curious, and it makes since after reading the other replies. Thanks

  22. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by beej
    The most chilling verbal description of this accident for me came from Lone Star JR who said that he found the lemon slice that Eddie Sachs always wore with a string around his neck . How that got in Jr's engine compartment, one would hate to even think about.
    The rear end of Sachs' car left the ground when he hit MacDonald. Rutherford's car was directly underneath Sachs when the rear of Eddie's car came back down, and one of Sachs' wheels actually hit Rutherford as he passed it. The initial impact most likely knocked the lemon loose from Sachs' neck, and the nose of Johnny's car scooped it up.


    And, in the Earnhardt crash, Dale always sat back and lower in his car than the other drivers did. He would lean back, almost in the same position as sitting in a lounge chair, with the steering wheel extended so far from his chest that his arms were extended. It was a very relaxed position, but it required the seat belts to be a little looser than they would be in a car where the driver sat more upright. In most crashes, it probably wouldn't have been a big deal, but this particular accident was a little different because there were 3 distinct impacts. Sterling Marlin hit Dale first, and that sent him up toward the wall. Ken Schrader hit Dale after that, and that was a pretty hard hit that sent Dale straight into the wall at approximately 150 mph. In addition to the basal skull fracture, Dale also suffered several broken ribs...they weren't just cracked, but snapped off at the sternum. I read that the impact was roughly akin to being seated in a stationary passenger car being hit by another car travelling at approximately 75 mph.

    A HANS Device and a full-face helmet probably would have saved Dale Earnhardt's life, but he still would have had to deal with those snapped ribs.


    Dan

  23. #83
    Runnin down a dream cbreez99's Avatar
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    Explain the multiple BIG wrecks he walked away from...

    A loose shoulder harnesses would cause those injuries, I don't care what angle your seat is at. Hans device or not.

  24. #84
    never was wannabe debdrake's Avatar
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    Sorry - I don't think the belts had anything to do with Earnhardt's death. I think it was simply a basal skull fracture - the same thing that has killed a number of other race car drivers. IMHO, the then current Cup cars were being built too strong in the front - the car didn't bend enough, and the impact was transferred to the driver. That's why I've long said that if he'd been in an Indy car, he probably would have survived - smashed his legs, but survived.

    Back somewhere around 1990 (plus or minus a few years), Stock Car Racing magazine ran an article regarding the string of drivers who had been killed in the Nascar Modified series - 10 drivers in 10 years. There were photos of some of the cars - most of them could have been fixed and back on the track the next week - the noses weren't bending. I think the same thing happened with the Cup cars, and that's probably much of the real reason behind the "Car of Tomorrow" - nascar finally figured it out.

    And before you say I'm slamming nascar - it's not just them. We've had similar problems. For example. look at the minimal damage done to Scott Brayton's car - that should not have been a fatal accident, but the car absorbed little of the impact.
    I'm from a place called the internet. Nothing disturbs me.

  25. #85
    Runnin down a dream cbreez99's Avatar
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    OK, how many raz cars have you sat in and know what the race experience is like? You are an expert? OK...

  26. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by stpwildcat
    I know this topic will tweek a few feathers here, but IMO horrible crashes are as much a part of the speedway as the bricks themselves.
    horrible crashes were part of the speedway before the bricks were even there.
    "Is that my *** that I smell burning?" ... Helmet Stogie from "Death spasms of the Mabuchi"

  27. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by debdrake
    Sorry - I don't think the belts had anything to do with Earnhardt's death. I think it was simply a basal skull fracture - the same thing that has killed a number of other race car drivers. IMHO, the then current Cup cars were being built too strong in the front - the car didn't bend enough, and the impact was transferred to the driver. That's why I've long said that if he'd been in an Indy car, he probably would have survived - smashed his legs, but survived.

    Back somewhere around 1990 (plus or minus a few years), Stock Car Racing magazine ran an article regarding the string of drivers who had been killed in the Nascar Modified series - 10 drivers in 10 years. There were photos of some of the cars - most of them could have been fixed and back on the track the next week - the noses weren't bending. I think the same thing happened with the Cup cars, and that's probably much of the real reason behind the "Car of Tomorrow" - nascar finally figured it out.

    And before you say I'm slamming nascar - it's not just them. We've had similar problems. For example. look at the minimal damage done to Scott Brayton's car - that should not have been a fatal accident, but the car absorbed little of the impact.
    Along those same lines, I've always wondered about the front end of Earnhardt's car, because I've always heard that RCR used to build the front ends of his cars even stouter than normal-because "The Intimidator" needed them to be that way for, uh, the stuff he was known to do on the track. I've often wondered, if this was true, if it might have contributed to the forces that ended up dealing that fatal skull fracture to him.
    "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

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  28. #88
    While not really relevant to the conversation, reading this thread took me back to the day that Gordon was killed at the track.

    I was 14 at the time, and remember hearing the news on WIBC. I remember it so vividly, as if it happened yesterday. I was sick about the news. (I had begged my dad to take me to the track for opening day.)

    While both drivers walked away from the Matos/Meira wreck, seeing it live in turn one, I was sure that one of them was surely dead. If you heard the noise it made at impact, you probably agree. FWIW, when I saw the Matos/Meira wreck, I had the same sickening feeling that I had when I heard the GS news.

  29. #89
    Thirsty from Pretzels vandele's Avatar
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    I hate them, but we have to understand that auto racing can be dangerous, and Indy can be deadly.

    I was having lunch at union jack's in Speedway when Brayton's last lap occurred. We watched the replay on ESPN many times, and I remember commenting, "that's too bad, all that work down the drain, oh well, he'll be out in the backup this afternoon." I was utterly shocked when I heard the news later in the day that he was gone. Scotty autographed a helmet shield for me a few days earlier that read "Scott Brayton 233.7". I will never part ways with that shield, yet I also do not display it.

    Jovy Marcello's fatal accident occurred while I was on the road back to Indy with a load of spares and supplies. I heard the report on 1070 and was concerned by how vague and ambiguous the information was. I walked thru the garage area from the east gate thru to the tower terrace offices and vividly recall the ominous cloud that was hanging over gasoline alley - there were no voices and there was no eye contact. Shortly thereafter I witnessed Jimmy Vasser receiving the news that Jovy was gone. That is something I wish I would not have experienced.

    Scott Sharp's crash in 1996 (IIRC) in the blue and white Conseco car really bothered me. Though he escaped relatively unscathed, I was struck with a feeling of helplessness watching him continue, unconscious and under power, all ther way from his T4 point of impact, to where the car finally came to a stop (still under power) past the S/F line

  30. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyrjc
    MacDonald's car held exactly 44 gallons; all in the left side. And I'm just guessing but Sachs' car likely held a little more. Probably around 50 to 60 gallons. So it was closer to 100 gallons instead of 200. Actually, the cars running on gasoline carried fewer gallons than did those running on methanol. There were a couple of roadsters that did carry around 100 gallons of methanol. Part of the reason for everyone adding fuel capacity that year was that both Firestone and Goodyear (even though they didn't run in the race) came up with tires that didn't need to be changed which meant some cars thought they could run the race on a single pit stop.
    Sachs was sitting in 100 gallons...

    You may be right about Davey but I doubt it was 44 gallons. That's not much more than the cars a few years ago.

    http://www.historicmustang.com/DaveM...hsIndianapolis

    http://www.ranchopower.com/?page_id=817
    Last edited by Saw150; 03-25-2010 at 03:06 AM.

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