Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Crash Leads to Criticism of Officials Drivers Angry over Late Restart

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Crash Leads to Criticism of Officials Drivers Angry over Late Restart

Article excerpt

DAYTONA BEACH -- The mad dash resulted in plenty of mad people.

A multi-car crash yesterday followed the decision of race

officials to restart the Pepsi 400 with one lap remaining

instead of ending the race under a caution flag, and it

irritated some drivers and crew chiefs.

"It's a shame that they make that kind of call," said Derrike

Cope, whose Pontiac was one of nine cars involved in the

accident on the final lap. "I don't understand their thinking.

It bothers me.

"We're racers and we're going to go out there and dig for the

hole. You don't like it to end under the yellow, but dadgum, it

was a great race all day long and a great new winner. The guy

that made that call ought to be whipped."

The restart didn't result in a lead change -- John Andretti,

who had led since Lap 101, held off Terry Labonte and Sterling

Marlin for his first Winston Cup victory -- but it did injure

two drivers.

Ward Burton, who smashed into Dick Trickle and Mark Martin

after the two bumped and skidded, sustained a concussion and was

admitted to nearby Halifax Medical Center to undergo further

tests. Martin was taken to the infield medical center after

complaining of feeling woozy.

Those were the only injuries that resulted from the wreck that

ruined a solid day for Trickle, who had moved up to fourth place

with less than 10 laps remaining.

"The crew did a great job and there we were, going for a great

finish and some idiots take it away from us," said Trickle, who

finished 25th. "We were setting up for a hell of a finish and

then I don't know what happens. You've got people that drive

like idiots.

"It just goes to show you how our luck has been. The 3 car

[Dale Earnhardt] is one car ahead of us and he finishes [fourth]

and I have to go back to the shop and build a new -- --

superspeedway car. …

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