The White Zone: NASCAR dropped the ball

It's a shot of the driver most affected by NASCAR's bad officiating, Sunday, at Loudon.

Kyle Busch summed it up, perfectly, NASCAR.

“We started the race under a mist,” he said. “It never should have gone green to begin with, but then it kept getting worse and worse, lap over lap. The lap before I went into (Turn) 1 and it shoved the nose really bad and I was able to keep it under control.

“It wasn’t bad enough.”

Then on Lap 6, he was in the wall. As were Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin.

NASCAR, why did this race start?

The White Zone: NASCAR dropped the ball

What drivers were saying

Nothing about the weather or track conditions allowed the race to start. Spotters told their drivers rain was just minutes away and the league was working on a weeper in Turn 1 right up to the start.

Truex said it was “just ice” and that he almost lost the car a lap earlier, because the track was wet.

“I hollered on the radio that the track is wet,” he said. “Like wet, wet. I tried to back it down and I got in there and it just kept going. I couldn’t even slow it down.”

On the broadcast, rain drops covered the camera lenses. You could even see light sprinkles falling.

“We run slick tires and these cars don’t have any grip on slick tires and wet asphalt,” he said. “To me, that’s the job of the corner spotter has in NASCAR. They’re sitting over there, they can feel when it’s raining and see when it’s raining.

“That’s their job to tell NASCAR that it’s raining and we have to stop so we don’t have that situation.”

The White Zone: NASCAR dropped the ball

Bottom line

Look, I get that officiating is a thankless job and it’s not always going to turn out the right choices. And I get that mistakes happen. But this isn’t the first time this has happened. This exact same mistake happened just eight months earlier at Texas Motor Speedway. Where it restarted a race, when the weather was bad, and race leader Kevin Harvick wrecked in Turn 1.

NASCAR, this is inexcusable. Not just that it happened, Sunday, but that it happened twice in the span of a calendar year.

Let’s just hope this doesn’t continue, after the Olympic break.

That’s my view, for what it’s worth.

TOP IMAGE: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images


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