Welcome back everyone! I hope everyone had a good and fun summer break, mine was filled with working for my own production company filming a lot of racing, which was awesome!
It’s hard to believe, but NASCAR is still racing. We have the longest season in all of professional sports, however we have made the turn toward the finish line with only 10 weeks left!
NASCAR racers took to Darlington Raceway on Sept. 1, and man was it one for the record books.
A four-hour rain delay pushed the start time back from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., making for a late night right from the initial green flag.
A couple accidents happen throughout the race, but the biggest moment, in my opinion, didn’t cause a caution.
With three laps to go in the race, Eric Jones was leading Kyle Busch. Busch was closing the gap between the two of them. It was shaping up for a crazy finish.
Coming off turn number two with three laps to go, Kyle Busch SLAMMED into the outside retaining wall, pancaking the right side of the car. We found out later that his right front tire went flat.
The crazy part is that the following two laps, Kyle Busch scraped the outside wall in all four corners, finishing third.
Why was this crazy? Well, NASCAR had three miles (two laps) left in the race where they could have thrown a caution for the accident that Kyle Busch was involved in and continued to be involved in for the remainder of the race.
The debris off his car could have caused a bigger issue, it could have posed a HUGE safety risk to drivers, fans and officials.
So why didn’t they throw the caution? Maybe because it was 2 a.m. on the East Coast, or maybe because Darlington is known for late race restarts and chaos usually ensues, which in turn would extend the race, making it a later night then it already was.
This wasn’t the only time this has happened in NASCAR, and the example I use also involves Kyle Busch.
In a NASCAR xFinity race out in California a couple years back, Kyle Busch blew a tire and dragged the fence the whole last lap, no caution.
I am honestly still upset about the way that situation was handled, not only because I would have loved to see how things would have turned out if a late race caution occurred, but also because of the safety situation. Safety is supposed to be the number one priority in racing, and sometimes I question if it actually is to some race directors.
I mean I was broadcasting a race a couple weeks ago when a driver spun out in front of the leaders and almost stopped in the center of the track. The two leaders went to the left and right of him and he was able to keep rolling, but where was the caution there?
The driver who spun out is also battling stage 4 cancer, so who knows how a direct hit to the front or back of his car would have ended, and honestly I don’t even want to try and imagine the possible end results.
My opinion here is this, when a driver is causing a safety issue to himself or other competitors, throw a caution. It shouldn’t matter if the race has two or 300 laps left, throw the caution.
I would just hate to have to experience a driver getting hurt again or worse, and heaven forbid it’s one of the races I’m broadcasting. They don’t really go over how to deal with injured (or worse) drivers in the book, Broadcasting for Dummies.
Have a great couple weeks, next column we’ll be talking about the first couple weeks of the 2019 NASCAR Playoffs! Should be a good one!