IndyCar Drivers Declare War on California Squirrel Population

IndyCar Drivers Declare War on California Squirrel Population

by July 22, 2021 2 comments

Currently, the IndyCar Series is in the middle of a month-long hiatus, before they hit the streets of Nashville. However, with that in mind, a number of drivers on Tuesday were at Weather-Tech Raceway at Laguna Seca. This was a test session before the race there later this year. Josef Newgarden was fastest in this session at the track set to host the penultimate round of the season.

But the story of the day had nothing to do with any driver, team, car, or even human for that matter. It would be the massacre of the local squirrel population that yearned to get a closer look at the action.

Trackside Squirrels

Doing some research on the topic, squirrels are a common sight at the facility (bonus lizard on F1 track).

These look like the California Ground Squirrel. Their life expectancy is around six years (while not slain by Dallara IR18’s). In addition, according to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, they can grow up to 19 inches long. Along with being and prey for birds, namely hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls, in addition to rattlesnakes.

Nothing New

Additionally, squirrels are no strangers to the IndyCar scene. There have been numerous run-ins in the past involving the big-tailed rodent. They have frequently tried to get as close to the action as possible at the Belle Isle circuit in Detroit.

Unlike their Laguna Seca cousins, it appears that their Detroit squirrels have fared much better on the other hand.

The Aftermath

After Tuesday’s session, Marshall Pruett of was able to grab Newgarden to get his thoughts.

“This was a record…There were at least eight carcasses out there at one point. It got so bad, there were three on the racing line in Turn 11, and they had to red flag the session to clean things up because we’re having to alter our lines under braking just to avoid them.”

Pruett also said that it was believed that Colton Herta managed to hit four, count them four, squirrels on just one lap. A devastating day for the squirrel population in California to say the least.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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