Elliott, Petty crash at California By Bill Frederickson FONTANA, Calif. (May 3, 1998) If Lady Luck believed in fairness, Bill Elliott and Kyle Petty wouldn't know it. After being caught up in a 20-car accident last week at...
Elliott, Petty crash at California By Bill Frederickson FONTANA, Calif. (May 3, 1998)
If Lady Luck believed in fairness, Bill Elliott and Kyle Petty wouldn't know it. After being caught up in a 20-car accident last week at Talladega, the pair were involved in a hard crash Sunday during the California 500 presented by NAPA at California Speedway.
The chain reaction began when Dale Jarrett's No. 88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford blew an engine and sprayed oil over much of Turn 2.
"Something just started to let go by the Start/Finish Line," Jarrett said. "It started to miss, and by the time I got to Turn 1 something let go. It's unfortunate, you know."
Petty, in his No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac, didn't have time to react and spun in the mess on lap 86.
"We had no place to go," Petty said. "Everybody just kind of run through the oil and spun."
Petty's Grand Prix slammed hard into the side of Elliott's No. 94 McDonald's Ford, sending the former NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion into the wall.
Elliott was transported via Life Flight to Loma Linda Medical Center for X-rays and a further evaluation. He initially visited the infield medical center and was treated for abrasions on both sides of his face and bruising. According to a team spokesperson, Elliott was complaining of pain in his right ankle.
"Our spotter told Bill to move up and get out of the way and that is what he did," said Joe Garone, crew chief for the McDonald's team. "But the 44 car (Petty) didn't get out of the oil in time and so he spun up into Bill.
"Bill wrecked real bad at Talladega and I know he was still real sore. This is the last thing that he needed to have happen."
The incident brought out the second yellow flag of the day. Then, a red flag was displayed to allow crews time to put out a fire and clean up the debris. After seven laps of caution and a 26-minute stoppage, the field took the green flag again on lap 92.
Dale Earnhardt also spun out during the fracas, but only damaged the rear end of his No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet. Earnhardt's Richard Childress Racing teammate Mike Dillon, who is substituting for an injured Mike Skinner, was also involved in the accident.
Petty said he OK, only slightly bruised. But it wasn't from a lack of impact.
"It was hard," Petty said. "But, not harder than last week in Talladega. But, Bill hit hard, too. He's got some new bruises." Source: NASCAR Online