NASCAR had a lot of criticism coming their way from a group of furious fans who found the decision from NASCAR, not to put out the caution in the final laps of Ally 400 following after Brad Keselowski hit the wall just after the restart. The lack of caution coming out helped Hendrick Motorsports No:9 Chevy Camaro ZL1 driver Chase Elliott to secure his second win of the season finishing ahead of Kurt Busch at P2 leading all of the final four laps.
Following the Josh Biliski incident, NASCAR called a caution with just 9 laps left in the race that was already more than two hours off the schedule due to a rain delay, with the all the Toyota front runners making the bad call to change into a new set of tires allowed Elliott to put a nine-car behind him and kyle Busch who was going for the win, which later resulted in him taking the win in the last four laps showdown.
NASCAR did make an inconsistent call in the last laps of the race in Nashville as they should have called Brad Keselowski hitting the wall alongside Cole Custer, though the latter had less damage, in the standard they have been using the whole race before the incident. Now NASCAR vice president of officiating and technical inspection, Elton Sawyer has come forth defending NASCAR’s decision.
Find out what NASCAR Vice-President Elton Sawyer had to say about not calling caution in Nashville after the Keselowski incident
Elton Sawyer acknowledged that the officials at the track were well aware of the Brad Keselowski incident and were monitoring the car and the conversation between the driver and his spotter. He pointed out that since Brad was able to get to the apron out of harm’s way cruising around, there wasn’t a need for caution and added that it would have been different if the No:6 car came to a complete stop at the apron.
“Obviously, we’re monitoring that (and see) the 6 is in the fence. And Brad is listening through his spotter and race control that we needed the 6 to get down on the apron. Once he did that, it means he’s kind of out of harm’s way and he’s driving around. If he comes to a complete stop down on the apron at that point, then we’re going to have to go get him,” Elton Sawyer said.
He went on o say that all the incident was a tough one for Brad Keselowski as they were having a great run in the race as they were running in the top 10 at the time of the incident, in a position to give the team the strong finish they need. Elton Sawyer acknowledged that he would like to have seen them finishing atop before the unfortunate incident.
“That was a tough one there because they were having a great run. I think they were maybe in the top 10 at that time and a team that needed a good strong finish, and it would have been great to see them get that. Unfortunately, they were involved in that incident,” Elton Sawyer added.
The NASCAR vice-president went on to say that he understands the fan’s frustration as they want to see their favorite drivers getting the caution they might be looking for. He then points out that every situation on the track is different and added that the decision was taken by not just one person but by a group of individuals who are making the decision.
“And we understand when you’re sitting in the stands and your favorite driver [is] looking for a caution or needs a caution for whatever the reason may be, you feel OK, they should throw one. But again, every situation is different. There’s a group in the tower, there’s not just one person as we’ve talked about before. It’s, do we need to throw it? Can you hold it?” NASCAR Vice-president said.