Five-time defending NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has called on IndyCar to stop racing on high-banked ovals like the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway, following the 15-car accident in Sunday's season finale IndyCar race at Las Vegas that resulted in Dan Wheldon's death.
"I wouldn't run them on ovals. There's just no need to," Johnson told the Associated Press on Monday during a test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "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," Johnson added. "Myself, I have a lot of friends who race in that [IndyCar] series, and I'd just rather see them on street circuits and road courses. No more ovals."
Johnson suffered a heavy crash of his own in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte, but escaped uninjured. He said he had watched the IndyCar race on TV the following day, and was shocked.
"Knowing Dan and his wife and two kids, and then I'm sitting there with my daughter...I was torn up yesterday," Johnson said. "I mean, I know Dan – or knew Dan. We just stared at the TV for a long time yesterday with long faces. Just really sad."