IndyCar racer Dan Wheldon died after a mid-race crash on Sunday, sending a shock wave through the sport.
Drivers, who risk death in every race, were stunned and deeply saddened by the loss of Wheldon, who many considered to be a friend and worthy competitor.
Video of the fiery 15-car crash, which occurred during the 11th lap of the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is horrific, but so far it hasn't helped determine the cause of the accident.
I could see within five laps people were starting to do crazy stuff, said racer Dario Franchitti, who avoided the incident. I love hard racing but that to me is not really what it's about. One small mistake from somebody...
Right now I'm numb and speechless, he added. One minute you're joking around in driver intros and the next he's gone.
Immediately after the crash, all of the other IndyCar racers, including Danica Patrick, admitted that there is no telling when or why an accident will happen. When traveling at speeds above 200 miles per hour, the slightest miscalculation or car malfunction can end a race, or a life.
A single mistake by anybody... multiplies itself so fast that you start accumulating cars so fast, said an ESPN announcer. There's no way you can control it. Once you start spinning at those speeds, it's impossible to solve the problem.
IndyCar divers J.R. Hildebrand and Pippa Mann were also injured in the accident and are currently being treated in a Las Vegas hospital. The last IndyCar driver death occurred in 2006, when Paul Dana was killed during a warm-up lap at Homestead racetrack.
Despite the lack of clarity surrounding the accident, drivers had complained before the race that the Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a dangerously fast track.
We all had a bad feeling about this place in particular just because of the high banking and how easy it was to go flat. And if you give us the opportunity, we are drivers and we try to go to the front. We race each other hard because that's what we do, driver Oriol Servia told ESPN. We knew if could happen, but it's just really sad.
This is not a suitable track, and we seen it today its nowhere to get away from anybody. One small mistake from somebody and there's a massive thing, Franchitti said, according to ABC News.