A serious crash stopped IndyCar’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on lap one today, a day that’s just year after another crash at the track paralyzed driver Robert Wickens from the waist down. Though no one sustained critical injuries this time, Wickens and many onlookers are calling for IndyCar to drop the infamous racetrack from the schedule.
Here’s video of the incident:
The so-called “Tricky Triangle” has long been the subject of criticism from IndyCar fans. Justin Wilson, the latest fatality in the sport, was killed at Pocono Raceway in 2015. High-speed ovals like Pocono Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway tend to experience more serious crashes, leading some to call for the removal of all oval tracks.
Max Chilton, a driver for Carlin, brought some attention to the issue in June when he announced that he would not be competing in the last four races of the year due to his concerns about oval racing. With this incident, the pressure may increase on IndyCar to withdraw from oval racing or, at least, Pocono.
Wickens called the relationship between Pocono Raceway and IndyCar “toxic.” While it’s long been clear that it becomes increasingly difficult to protect drivers as the tracks permit higher speeds, the tradition of oval racing still has a lot of support from fans and IndyCar officials.
Pocono Raceway wants the series to return next season, but NBC Sports reported that IndyCar had not made that decision as of Saturday. Today’s events may affect the decision.
Critics have also argued that—even if fans support ovals—Pocono specifically needs to go. As the Tricky Triangle moniker implies, it’s a difficult track for drivers and prone to collisions. Some are also pointing out patchy fencing as a sign that the track is not taking safety seriously enough.
We’ve reached out to IndyCar for comment and will update this post if we hear back.