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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/.

NPR

These Old-Timey Philly Candies Offer A Taste Of Politics Past

Clear toy candies are a centuries-old local tradition. With the Democratic convention in town, an old-school candy maker is peddling some with a political bent. Think lollipop meets Mount Rushmore.
NPR

Cookie Dough Blues: How E. Coli Is Sneaking Into Our Forbidden Snack

Most people know not to eat raw cookie dough. But now it's serious: 46 people have now been sickened with E. coli-tainted flour. Here's how contamination might be occurring.
NPR

Is Trump's Call For 'Law And Order' A Coded Racial Message?

Donald Trump's promise to be the "law-and-order" candidate revived a slogan often associated with Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign. Linguist Geoff Nunberg discusses the term's racial underpinings
NPR

Writing Data Onto Single Atoms, Scientists Store The Longest Text Yet

With atomic memory technology, little patterns of atoms can be arranged to represent English characters, fitting the content of more than a billion books onto the surface of a stamp.

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