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And Another Thing

File / Associated Press

Cover your hindparts

So now we know how Dan Wheldon died, and it's pretty much what a lot of us who've watched the videotape of his fatal crash at Las Vegas guessed: Massive trauma caused when his head truck a support post in the catch fence.

We also know something else we've known for awhile: The instinct for any organization to cover its own, um, assets when a tragedy occurs on its watch is pretty much universal.

So here was the IRL's Brian Barnhart, telling us, no, it wasn't the $5 million bonus IRL chief Randy Bernard put out there that lured a jobless Wheldon into a dangerous situation -- i.e., trying to come from the back of a 34-car field on a track ill-suited for IndyCars, and especially for a 34-car field of IndyCars. No, it was the track itself that was at fault.

Well ... duh. The drivers expressed concern about the Vegas layout from the moment they touched down in the desert. Their concerns, obviously, fell on deaf ears. The show must go on.

At least for 12 laps, after which it ended in a horrific 15-car mess that killed Wheldon and seemed inevitable to the drivers and anyone else who knew anything about IndyCars and Vegas' multi-groove track.

So now Barnhart, after the fact, is de facto acknowledging as much. Well, if the Vegas layout was all wrong for IndyCars, what the hell were IndyCars doing running a race there?

Your $64,000 question for the day.

Ben Smith's blog.