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Kurt Busch: Safety improvements needed in Watkins Glen's carousel corner

  A gravel/sand trap, like this one that Sam Hornish Jr. ran through during a 2008 incident at Watkins Glen, might be needed over in that track's carousel turn too, after the frightening Hornish-Jeff Gordon-Jeff Burton crash there Monday (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern


   BROOKLYN, Mich.
  Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon both say Sam Hornish Jr.'s savage crash Monday at Watkins Glen International, in the odd carousel corner, following a similar incident Friday involving Jason Lefler,  means some significant safety improvements are needed in that section of the legendary road course.
    "It definitely needs something to help catch the cars or slow them down," Busch, who is Hornish's teammate, says.
    "That corner, the carousel, is a split – If you're running 'the boot' (downhill part of the long course, used by sports cars) you're heading off to the left. If you're running the NASCAR course, you're heading to the right. And either way, you're looking at that dead-end, blunt wall, both cars are looking at, whether you're turning left or right.
   "So, yes, whether it's (more) pavement (on the outside of the turn, to slow speeds), or a sand trap (same spot, outside the corner, to slow cars), or moving the wall back…..yes all three options need to be looked at.
   "We never thought of it before…but for some reason lightning struck twice this past weekend."
  Gordon, whose ailing back was punished in the crash: "That's definitely going to be a topic, and I think it's something that the track needs to focus on and look at.  
    "When you have multiple incidents on one weekend, it needs to get the attention. It's something they need to address.
    "I'm not going to go campaign for anything.  I'm just going to hope they go and do their job and look at it and find a better way to make it work in the future.  
    "We have been going to Watkins Glen a long time, and I have always said 'Man, I would never want to go off over there and get into that barrier.' And I didn't think a whole lot about if someone else went off in there and me getting collected up into it.
    "It's been there a long time…and maybe they will look at it a little bit different now."

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