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NASCAR race at Dover stopped because of potholes

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 1, 2014 at 6:03 pm •  Published: June 1, 2014
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DOVER, Del. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson thought little of the broken slab of concrete he saw on the Dover track during driver introductions.

"I just chalked it up to maybe a bad angle," he said.

It was a bit more serious than that. The pesky chip that Johnson ignored spawned into chunks of track spewed toward cars, a bridge, and caused a red flag for 22 minutes Sunday in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

The race was stopped 160 laps into the race after Ryan Newman's car knocked up hunks of concrete from the track that kicked back and damaged Jamie McMurray's car. The race was soon stopped and crews weren't allowed to work on the cars.

McMurray's plea for an exception was denied.

Some of the concrete flew up and cracked a window on the pedestrian crossover bridge. Track personnel duct taped the window that was already laminated in safety glass and did not allow anyone to stand on the bridge.

NASCAR officials and safety crews went to work on the potholes and applied hydraulic cement. Cup races were infamously delayed by potholes at Martinsville in 2004 and the 2010 Daytona 500.

NASCAR officials walked the track Sunday morning and noticed a previous patch in the same area, but saw no cause for concern.

"Our crew didn't see anything wrong with it," said NASCAR's vice president of competition, Robin Pemberton.

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