NPR : News

Filed Under:

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

'Star Wars' Editors Defy Hollywood Conventions

In a film industry often dominated by men, there's at least one exception: Many editors are women. Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey speak about their work on the new Star Wars.
NPR

Florida Says Its Fruits, Vegetables Are Safe From Invasive Fruit Fly

Since September, Florida has been fighting an infestation of the Oriental fruit fly, an invasive pest that threatened more than 400 crops. The state declared the insect eradicated as of Saturday.
NPR

GOP Debate: Scalia's Vacancy; Trump Puts Jeb On The Defense

Republicans let loose on each other in last night's South Carolina debate. Rachel Martin asks NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson about it.
NPR

West Point Students' Plan To Counter ISIS Online Strategy

The State Department sponsored a contest to find the best ways to combat ISIS propaganda online. A group of cadets from West Point got second prize. Rachel Martin speaks with team member CJ Drew.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.