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Wed October 19, 2011
Mario Andretti: 'No Tension' With Jimmie Johnson Over Indy Car Tragedy
In the aftermath of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon's death Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, there's been a passionate discussion going on in the racing world about whether it was just too risky to have open-wheel-style cars on an oval track with banked turns designed for NASCAR races.
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson sparked some of the debate when he said Monday of Indy-style cars that:
"I wouldn't run them on ovals. There's just no need to. ... Those cars are fantastic for street circuits, for road courses. I hate, hate, hate that this tragedy took place. But hopefully they can learn from it and make those cars safer on ovals somehow.
"I don't know how they can really do it. Myself, I have a lot of friends that race in that series, and I'd just rather see them on street circuits and road courses. No more ovals."
As USA TODAY reports, that led to racing legends A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti defending the safety of IndyCars. And Andretti wrote Tuesday on his Twitter page that Wheldon "did not take mad risk because he was over-motivated by $5 mil prize. To imply he drove different due to $$, you offend his honor."
Today, Andretti tweets that he:
"Spoke to @JimmieJohnson. He cares about IndyCar & his racing brothers. No tension between us, despite what you read. It's sensationalized."