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Mario Andretti: 'No Tension' With Jimmie Johnson Over Indy Car Tragedy

In the aftermath of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon's death Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, there's been a passionate discussion going on in the racing world about whether it was just too risky to have open-wheel-style cars on an oval track with banked turns designed for NASCAR races.

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson sparked some of the debate when he said Monday of Indy-style cars that:

"I wouldn't run them on ovals. There's just no need to. ... Those cars are fantastic for street circuits, for road courses. I hate, hate, hate that this tragedy took place. But hopefully they can learn from it and make those cars safer on ovals somehow.

"I don't know how they can really do it. Myself, I have a lot of friends that race in that series, and I'd just rather see them on street circuits and road courses. No more ovals."

As USA TODAY reports, that led to racing legends A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti defending the safety of IndyCars. And Andretti wrote Tuesday on his Twitter page that Wheldon "did not take mad risk because he was over-motivated by $5 mil prize. To imply he drove different due to $$, you offend his honor."

Today, Andretti tweets that he:

"Spoke to @JimmieJohnson. He cares about IndyCar & his racing brothers. No tension between us, despite what you read. It's sensationalized."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Role Of Music In Presidential Campaigns

Presidential candidates today frequently use popular pieces of music as campaign "theme songs" often without approval from the musicians themselves. But using music on the campaign trail is not a modern phenomenon: it goes back to our earliest presidential elections.

NPR

From Dock To Dish: A New Model Connects Chefs To Local Fishermen

Prominent chefs are signing up for restaurant-supported fisheries: They commit to buying fresh-caught seafood, whatever the species, from local small fishermen. A pilot program launched in California.

WAMU 88.5

The Role Of Music In Presidential Campaigns

Presidential candidates today frequently use popular pieces of music as campaign "theme songs" often without approval from the musicians themselves. But using music on the campaign trail is not a modern phenomenon: it goes back to our earliest presidential elections.

NPR

Yahoo CEO To Take Limited Leave After Giving Birth To Twins

NPR's Rachel Martin talks with Slate DoubleX Gabfest's Hanna Rosin about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to take just two weeks worth of parental leave after having twins in December.

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