Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell both went for a wild ride as Greg Biffle and Newman collide in the carousel corner while going three wide. Biffle, having been losing positions and having problems, came back up the track in front of Newman as the#31 tried make the pass, Newman tried to stay off the back of the #16 3M Ford resulting in the accident on Lap 56.
Newman’s #31 CAT Chevrolet careened into the outside wall hard before spinning wildly into the path of the oncoming drivers, collecting McDowell, driving the #95 K-Love Ford, into the air before stopping against the inside wall of Turn 6 sending suspension parts into and over the catchfence.
“I’m fine, wrong place at the wrong time,” Newman said. “From my standpoint Biffle jumped the curb, got the splitter on the curb, and got out and got across the grass, I probably could have gave him a little more but I tried to time it so I could shoot pass and he (Biffle) slowed down when he came back on the race track.”
“The barriers, the safer barriers that doesn’t exist here, the Armco walls, there’s no concrete walls, it’s just an antiquated race track and the safety is not at all up to NASCAR standards and it is a shame we have to have accidents like that to prove it,” Newman said very critically of the track safety.
Newman was scored in 17th at the time of the incident during the running of the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International while McDowell was scored in 22nd place. Both drivers walked away from their cars, after the wreck for a mandatory ride to the infield care center.
“There was nothing I could do,” Biffle insistent.
During the clean up the race was put under red flag conditions, with Jimmie Johnson listed as the race leader.
“I’m good, Thank the good Lord above cause that’s a bad wreck,” said McDowell after exiting the infield care center. “Seems like when I do it they’re usually very big. Not sure what happened, I saw the 16 get a little wide and then 31 come across the track, I didn’t have the time to adjust or move I just tried not to hit Ryan (Newman) in the door.”
Greg Biffle, Danica Patrick, and David Ragan sustained damage during the big wreck from the carousel turn.
“Well they all get reviewed it’s a constant improvement process,” said Robin Pemberton, Vice President of Competition. “You know many of the places we go to, Facilities, are multi-purpose and we are only here one weekend a year and it is busy through-out the rest of the year, and we are not the only series that race here.”
“Watkins Glen has made great advancements in Turn 1 and 2 moving the grandstands and fencing and safer barriers, that’s worked quite well for us,” Pemberton continued.
The red flag conditions lasted for 1 hour and 27 minutes for the Newman, McDowell crash for the Cheez-It 355 with 34 laps remaining.