(Nazareth, Pa) -- PacWest Racing's Mark Blundell escaped with a few bruises after a major shunt at the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix at the Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania today. Blundell was hit in the left-hand rear by Brazilian Helio ...
(Nazareth, Pa) -- PacWest Racing's Mark Blundell escaped with a few bruises after a major shunt at the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix at the Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania today.
Blundell was hit in the left-hand rear by Brazilian Helio Castroneves as they crossed the start-finish line on lap 167 and both cars made heavy contact with the outside wall -- both sliding to a stop at the entrance to turn one.
There were some major concerns in the PacWest Racing pit shortly after the accident when Blundell had to be helped from the car and put on a stretcher by CART medical officials.
The Phoenix-based Englishman missed eight races last season after a testing accident at Gateway in St Louis which resulted in major neck injuries.
Blundell was put under the observation of the CART Director of Medical Affairs for about 45 minutes before being it was decided he was fit enough to be released.
While the accident was obviously a huge disappointment for Blundell and the PacWest team, there was something to cheer about a little later when Mauricio Gugelmin brought home of the #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz in second place behind Gil de Ferran.
MARK BLUNDELL - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 17TH
"I can't believe (Helio) Castroneves tried to make a move on me there," said Blundell.
"We were running along making good mileage and heading towards some points and then I get hit from behind.
"Sometimes it pays to have patience in this game.
"I am a little sore, but I will rest for a couple of days and get everything back together for Milwaukee next weekend."
CART DIRECTOR OF MEDICAL AFFAIRS -- STEVE OLVEY
"Mark Blundell was treated at the CART Mobile Medical Facility for minor bruising on his upper back and was released," said Olvey in an official statement.
"Mark was awake and never unconscious at the scene of the accident involving Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves. Castroneves walked away from the incident."
* The next round of the 2000 FedEx Championship Series will be the Miller Lite 225 at the Milwaukee Mile next weekend -- June 4.