Crash Strikes IndyCar Gateway Race Right after the Start

A six-car crash at the drop of the green flag eliminated three Andretti Autosport drivers from contention before they could even cross the start-finish line on Saturday during the first of two NTT IndyCar Series races this weekend at World Wide Technolgy Raceway at Gateway.

The incident eliminated three Andretti Autosport teams from contention.

© IndyCar on NBC
The incident eliminated three Andretti Autosport teams from contention.

Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti and Zach Veach suffered terminal damage in a crash that began when several cars stalled out of Turn 4.

Alex Palou darted left and Simon Pagenaud followed him out of line. Oliver Askew also darted but was not able to lift in time and drove right into the back of Pagenaud. That then collected the Andretti Autosport trio.

IndyCar race control penalized Palou and Askew for avoidable contact and both drivers were sent to the rear of the field for the ensuing restart.

Veach indicated that he had nowhere to go when he darted high to avoid the melee.

“That’s when I saw Pagenaud sideways,” Veach said on the NBCSN television broadcast. “From that point, everyone jammed on the brakes. We tried to stop the best we could, but it seemed everyone was in the same position. The window closed so quickly, some of us were left without an option.”

The first 14 laps of the race were run under yellow flag conditions.

Pagenaud attempted to continue after a wing change but retired after 66 laps due to a failure to make minimum speed.

“Think we had a good car today, never even got a chance to really test it for tomorrow,” Pagenaud said on the television broadcast. “It’s a little too much excitement at the start of the race from the back of us. Real shame.

“The front slowed, down, and I don’t know if it was the accordion effect. It is what it is. It’s very unfortunate. Need them to be willing to just be a bit more patient.”

Rossi has just three top-10s in eight starts this season after recording his third DNF.

“I was trying to go straight,” Rossi said on TV upon getting pressed to point blame. “I’m not laying blame. It’s very reminiscent of a Michgan iRacing start at the beginning of the year.”

Ed Carpenter were also involved in the incident.

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