Car #: 11,33
Year : 99,90 Posts: 1528
From my perspective, the event was a mixed bag. I walked away with a second place trophy but two of my teammates suffered total car loss. Two other cars were severely damaged that weekend too. We had a strange event on the last lap, we were racing as a pack (and I was getting passed) on the run from the kink to Canada when double yellows came out. It was a little weird to get the double yellow that late in the race / lap. As we passed start-finish, the pace car picked us up. It was running very slowly and I started doing inventory in my mirror of my teammates and realized one was missing, that of Lyonel Kent. I tried to reach him on radio and no responseÖ We went agonizingly slowly around turns one and three and inched to the bridge on that straight. It was obvious that something big had happened. There were several emergency vehicles ahead.
The first thing I saw approaching the scene was the rocker panel cover of Lyonelís car. Those fall off the cars fairly often when there is contact, so that wasnít all that unusual. But what made my heart sink and made me immediately sick to my stomach was that the cover was still attached to the rocker panel itself as well as some of the floor! The chassis of the car had been torn to pieces. LARGE parts of the car were scattered all over the track for what looked like hundreds of feet. There was another car there too. That of Jeff Mosing. I looked over to one of the helmeted emergency workers and yelled to ask if the drivers were ok and he said yes and gave me a thumbs up. I canít tell you the sense of relief I felt. After an anticlimactic podium ceremony whose highlight was having my family with me for fatherís day, I made my way back to the paddock to find a giant blob that used to be the ALARA Racing 13 car. In all my years of racing, I have never seen anything like it. Two cars had made contact with each other and had both gone into the right side wall at an angle, pushing the wall in. The next section of wall (that had not moved) then caught the side of the car at the right front and basically tore the right side of the car clear off from the front of the car to the rear, cage bars and all. The driver side of the car was untouched save for the top elements in the cage moving rearward and slightly down as they were pulled back from the right side. Lyonel is one lucky guy to have emerged unscathed and we should ALL be thankful for the advanced safety in todayís race cars. Lyonel was on the podium in his new car six days later.