It's usually a treat to see a NASCAR race take place on a road course with real corners, instead of the standard left-turn-only affairs. But there's a reason they mainly stick to the super speedways—the cars themselves aren't designed for the stresses of a short, complex track. And when something does go wrong, the room for error is that much smaller.
A scary scene went down at last weekend's NASCAR PEAK Mexico race at the Autódromo de León when driver Santiago Tovar lost his brakes going into the track's final turn, causing his #26 Pennzoil car to fly off the track, punch through a tire wall, and plow into a group of spectators. Four people were treated for minor injuries at the scene.
"Obviously I realized only when I reached the next corner that I could not do anything. Unfortunately I became a passenger in the car," Tovar told Motorsport.com. "The important thing is that the accident did not cause any major injuries and we are all well."
Tovar went on to say that he believes the Autódromo de León is simply too dangerous for NASCAR Mexico to keep racing there, a sentiment echoed by other drivers. In addition to its short 0.75-mile length—which can quickly cause brake overheating issues—the small track also lacks a proper catch fence.
"The truth is that we should not bring this track, it is dangerous for everyone—drivers and public," he said. "The cars do not fit in this track, the brakes gets very hot and from the lap five you do not know if you're going to brake or not."
According to Motorsport.com, the accident was investigated by the series's race director, Mexican motorsport officials, and a representative from NASCAR itself, but no decision has been made on using the track in the future.