NASCAR Montreal Race Wettest In History
When the cars lined up on the starting grid at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal this past weekend, it was clear that the drivers were in for a wet race. Despite almost swimming to the finish line, the majority of drivers seemed to have enjoyed the change in conditions at the first truly wet conditions that NASCAR has ever experienced at a major points race.
With both the drivers and race officials having had little – if any – experience dealing with extremely wet conditions, a lot of accidents were to be expected. But none of them were terribly serious and in all it seems that the drivers had a lot of fun trying gain control of their slipping and sliding vehicles as they attempted to speed around the track. It seems the two biggest problems were the fact that the drivers invariably had low visibility and large puddles of water on the track meant more than one car hydroplaned. At 140 or 150 miles an hour, a hydroplaning car can be a scary and dangerous thing. Still it seems that for the most part, the drivers managed to take it all in their stride. And where the roads were just wet and not covered in water, the grooved Goodyear rain tires that finally got a chance to perform proved their worth by ensuring that the cars stuck to the road under the guidance of their hard-working drivers.
Unfortunately the lack of visibility caused quite a few collisions. Often drivers were unable to see a caution ahead and so they went straight into the back of stationary cars. This was what happened to both Jacques Villeneuve and Joey Logano – though they were only doing about 40 mph so the collisions were not too serious. Most of the teams installed a windshield wiper during one of the extended caution periods but there were a few teams who seemed to think they could manage without them. One example is Carl Edwards, whose rather amusing solution to the problem was to stick his arm out during cautions to squeegee his window clean. In the end the race was reduced from 74 laps to 48 laps. The race was won by Ron Fellows, followed by Patrick Carpentier and Marcos Ambrose respectively.