Hodnett's Crash

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bcy505
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Hodnett's Crash

Post by bcy505 » Sun May 18, 2014 11:53 am

I was sitting in the pit bleachers last night when Hodnett and Smith got together. Was certainly a vicious crash, and I was glad to hear everyone was alright. That accident reminded me a lot of the Montieth-Schatz crash of a few years ago towards turn three.

This got me thinking, what would have happened if Greg's crash would have occurred another 50-100 feet up the backstretch and he went out through the pit entrance. Now this is all hypothetical. But that would have been horrific. If Greg's car goes out through that gap, it is very possible the momentum carries him over into the area where people stand waiting to cross the bridge. Is it time for the Grove to look at changing the pit entrance? Or am I just over reacting?

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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by kossuth » Sun May 18, 2014 12:23 pm

I wouldn't say over reacting so much, because it is possible. I will say this though, it is unlikely that a car could shoot that gap at 100 mph+ especially being redirected via impact from another car. Is it possible? Sure, but just the sheer odds of being turned at the exact moment with the exact amount of energy needed is unlikely. There are openings like that on hundreds of dirt tracks across the country and there is only one occurrence that I am aware of where something like what you are hypothesizing happened, and it was last year. http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/fat ... g-w/nWt8W/ So possible? Sure, but the likelihood is pretty low.

In your defense, say the stars did align and something like that happened? Nobody wants that to happen obviously, including other tracks. It would give everybody associated to "RACING" a horrible black eye particularly in the "lawsuit happy and media circus" society we live in today. Maybe management saw the same thing as you and might take action on it, or maybe not. Drivers getting hurt is one thing, fans and bystanders is something totally different and rightly so.

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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by pell021 » Sun May 18, 2014 1:10 pm

bcy505 wrote:I was sitting in the pit bleachers last night when Hodnett and Smith got together. Was certainly a vicious crash, and I was glad to hear everyone was alright. That accident reminded me a lot of the Montieth-Schatz crash of a few years ago towards turn three.

This got me thinking, what would have happened if Greg's crash would have occurred another 50-100 feet up the backstretch and he went out through the pit entrance. Now this is all hypothetical. But that would have been horrific. If Greg's car goes out through that gap, it is very possible the momentum carries him over into the area where people stand waiting to cross the bridge. Is it time for the Grove to look at changing the pit entrance? Or am I just over reacting?
I've said the same thing for many, many years. To me, if it's POSSIBLE, it needs to be changed. Because it's unlikely to happen is not a good enough reason to leave it as is in my opinion.
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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by Warthog » Sun May 18, 2014 6:42 pm

pell021 wrote:
bcy505 wrote:I was sitting in the pit bleachers last night when Hodnett and Smith got together. Was certainly a vicious crash, and I was glad to hear everyone was alright. That accident reminded me a lot of the Montieth-Schatz crash of a few years ago towards turn three.

This got me thinking, what would have happened if Greg's crash would have occurred another 50-100 feet up the backstretch and he went out through the pit entrance. Now this is all hypothetical. But that would have been horrific. If Greg's car goes out through that gap, it is very possible the momentum carries him over into the area where people stand waiting to cross the bridge. Is it time for the Grove to look at changing the pit entrance? Or am I just over reacting?
I've said the same thing for many, many years. To me, if it's POSSIBLE, it needs to be changed. Because it's unlikely to happen is not a good enough reason to leave it as is in my opinion.
Not having looked at that area in a while, what (if anything) separates a car going through the gap from spectators? I saw a crash along the lines of what is being discussed at a track in Illinois, and their solution was a couple rows of plastic water barrels positioned so as to slow down any car that did shoot through the pit exit gap, as well as providing a cushion around the end of the guard rail/wall on the far side of the gap. In the instance that I saw, the crash resulted in a lot of water flying up in the air, and the car stopping quickly, but not like running into a wall or a guardrail. Sort of a low-tech SAFER barrier". After the car was removed, the track crew just pulled a truck up and unloaded more water barrels to replace the ones involved in the crash.
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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by BigRightRear » Sun May 18, 2014 7:31 pm

It is not only possible but in fact it did happen last season when Ruttcamp clipped attire or the inside wall in 1 and flipped down the backstretch coming to rest in the grass between the BS pit exit and the steps up the outside of the decrepit bridge. If my memory serves, the car had to be lifted out over the fence with a wrecker...that is a dangerous spot to be standing for sure.

I'd even go as far as suggest you watch your back while ordering a funnel cake...just sayin.
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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by pushtruck » Sun May 18, 2014 9:02 pm

Good point, while not probable it CAN happen! Results would not be good to the people standing or the racer. Barrel rolling into the end of a guard rail would not be pleasant! Non believer... Watch the video.
A sliding gate, chain link or guard rails construction overlaping the gard rail's end would be a safety improvement
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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by BlueOnBlack21 » Sun May 18, 2014 9:17 pm

Another thing to consider if a wreck occured there, even if you contain the car to the track what about flying debris? I havent been across the bridge yet this year, is there a catch fence at the opening near where you wait to cross? :dontknow:

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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by Dave Exner » Sun May 18, 2014 9:22 pm

I remember the Ruttcamp accident. His car hit the stair handrail and ended up in the triangle area next to it. I do not stand in that area during any hot laps. I sit up top at the pit gate end of the stands and often wonder, if there was a bad one like Greg had, would parts (bolts, etc.) reach the top of the stands on that end. At any rate, I am sure everyone was happy to see Greg come away from that one in good shape.
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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by ohdh » Sun May 18, 2014 11:31 pm

These types of crashes have happened before in central Pa and others.

Many years ago, Hodnett into the infield at Lincoln.

Coldren in 2012 into the infield with some pieces hitting spectators at Port Royal.

Few years ago at Williams Grove, crash on the front straight and parts, including an axle, into the lower rows of seats behind the starters stand.

The one that I fear the most happening, is a car getting over the chain link fence at Williams Grove and bouncing through the front straight pits.

For a lot of tracks, better fencing and posts at critical areas, would do wonders for the safety of their drivers, crews and fans and probably would not cost a ton of money to implement.
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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by JTR13 » Mon May 19, 2014 10:27 am

I look at it this way, we as spectators take on a certain amount of rish going to these races... I know we have had a number of close calls sitting in the infield at turn 3 over the years... This is also why I don't let me kids run around like little animals when I bring them...
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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by Bentnerfbar » Mon May 19, 2014 2:58 pm

All great points and the reason I sit in the grand stands at the Grove or for that matter most tracks. The area at Williams Grove that has always worried me is 1-2. There is no real guard rail separating the infield from the track. A stuck throttle or two cars getting together with one of them shooting through the grass down there could be really ugly...

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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by c4 » Mon May 19, 2014 5:52 pm

ohdh wrote:These types of crashes have happened before in central Pa and others.
The one that I fear the most happening, is a car getting over the chain link fence at Williams Grove and bouncing through the front straight pits.
paul lotier went thru/over the fence and landed on a push truck in the pits at the grove
and i think i remember a car going over the fence and landing on a push truck with fred putney's son (?) in the bed at lincoln but that one is a little foggy.
wouldnt take much for a car to clear the infield fence on the back straight at the grove either

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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by Brian Exner » Mon May 19, 2014 6:18 pm

You guys bring up good points and scary memories. Unfortunately, we're a 'reactive' society. Things usually don't get changed until something terrible happens. In addition, cost is always a factor.

I love the place, but let's face it - the Grove needs many safety improvements. A sprinter nailing the bridge at full force or hitting it while flipping and coming to a sudden stop in traffic scares the heck out of me.

But **** do I love the place....

See everyone Friday (I must be nuts driving two hours each way.....).

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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by CTtoPA » Mon May 19, 2014 9:44 pm

Sh¡t happens. I find it ironic that people always say "Well if there's a possibility it needs to be changed". Well there's a possibility not all drivers will return to the pits. Let's just stop racing completely. There are risks involved. Drivers, owners, spectators seem to accept those risks. Let's all move on and look forward to the next race while wishing those involved in the accident at Selinsgrove a full recovery.
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Re: Hodnett's Crash

Post by part-time wrecker » Tue May 20, 2014 1:03 am

CTtoPA wrote:Sh¡t happens. I find it ironic that people always say "Well if there's a possibility it needs to be changed". Well there's a possibility not all drivers will return to the pits. Let's just stop racing completely. There are risks involved. Drivers, owners, spectators seem to accept those risks. Let's all move on and look forward to the next race while wishing those involved in the accident at Selinsgrove a full recovery.
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It's possible any one of us could be in an accident at any time, are you still going to drive everywhere or is that going to stop you from leaving your house? Well, It's possible.... :thinking:

There are SO MANY things that can happen at a race track at ANY given time and they can happen so fast. When you start to change one thing, Where do you go from there and how do you know when to stop?

This is about RACING in general at EVERY Track and has nothing to do with just one track!!!

I have been involved in racing and working on cars in different class's and roles now for over 20 years, from scrapping mud, to a mechanic, crew chief and even a co-owner, plus working on the tow truck for a few years in there as well. I have seen a lot happen over these years.
The one that will stick with me forever is 2007 when I was working with BK and lost a good friend that night. I almost quit then, but I have stayed involved over these past few years because I know he would not have wanted me to give up and quit.

This year I get to show my appreciation to him with a Memorial Tribute that means so much to me, as well as many others!!!


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