Video: NASCAR’s Robin Pemberton tries to make clear late caution from Bristol: NASCAR vice president of competition contact it a ‘stupid mistake’

NASCAR vice president of competition phone it a ‘stupid mistake’;

By: Al Pearce on 3/17/2014

Carl Edwards didn't mind the late caution on bit. Here, the winner at Bristol Motor Speedway does a celebratory flip on his way to victory lane.

LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC – Carl Edwards did not mind the late caution on bit. Here, the winner at Bristol Motor Speedway does a celebratory flip on his way to victory lane.

On a day and evening when rain seemed almost a specified winner, the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway ended in confusion just as yet another rainstorm swept eastern Tennessee. Thankfully for NASCAR, the bizarre finish didn’;t influence winner Carl Edwards.

With 3 laps remaining, the yellow caution lights blinked on for no obvious purpose since there was absolutely nothing on-track to warrant a caution time period. Moments later, however, the last of Sunday’;s 3 showers swept via the region. With the race practically more than, anyway, officials showed the yellow and checkered flags at the same time, with Edwards winning ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Aric Almirola, Tony Stewart, and Marcos Ambrose.

Later in the evening, officials stated the last caution period was a mistake. “It was a stupid error,” mentioned Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competitors. “It appears one of the flag men and women on the flag stand leaned on the switch that is the guide override for the caution lights. At the time the flag stand recognized the caution lights have been illuminated, the flagman threw the yellow flag. Soon after that, we froze the area from the tower just like we do beneath any other caution scenario.

“It seems that due to the weather and other factors, there is an region (where the manual override switch is found) that was not secured properly. The flag person leaned towards the switch and turned on the caution lights. We experimented with to flip them off (but) recognized the override switch was on and they have been hung on caution. “

Pemberton explained in detail the exact timeline of the incident. Short edition: The yellow lights were on for 6 seconds before the flagman could unfurl and wave the yellow flag. It was another twenty seconds just before officials in the tower froze the area in the fast operating order. Scorers reviewed the loop data and found that Kasey Kahne’;s pass of Jeff Gordon was the only modify in the course of those 20 seconds. On the last rundown, eighth-place Kahne was scored behind 6th-area Gordon and sixth-location Denny Hamlin.

At very first, neither the flagman nor any person else knew why the yellow lights all of a sudden flashed on. “There are 2 (flagmen) in the stand and a photographer at the end of the race,” Pemberton explained. “As you can only think about, as the day went on and the various situations of receiving up and down (the flag stand), they had been almost certainly rather cold standing up there all day lengthy. They had on bundles of clothing, so I can only sympathize with the situations they had been striving to deal with. A person just leaned into the switch that turned on the caution lights.”

Edwards was in command at the time, so the thought of a late-race restart didn’;t sit nicely with him. It grew to become a moot point, however, when rain suddenly began. With just a handful of laps remaining, officials never ever considered drying the track and striving to finish beneath green. The race began 2 hours late, endured a 3-hour rain delay after just 127 laps, then ended about 9:30, 8 hrs soon after its scheduled commencing time.

“It says a whole lot about the state of the leadership of our sport for Robin to come up right here and explain exactly what took place,” Edwards said following his 1st victory this yr, his third all-time at BMS and his 22nd all-time in Cup. “He just place it out there that, ‘Hey, it was a mistake and it was inadvertent.’; For them to come up here and say they messed up indicates a lot. Even if the final result hadn’;t worked for me, I am glad to be part of something exactly where they say, ‘Hey, we screwed up.’; ”

And if it hadn’;t started out raining and NASCAR had right away lifted the caution and known as for a green-white-checkered overtime finish: “I was fully prepared to smash into other drivers, bounce off the walls, wreck every single other for the win,” Edwards stated. “That’;s what I anticipated, for it to be pretty crazy because that is the place we’;re at appropriate now. You’;ve received to go for the win.”

Edwards led only the final 78 laps of the 503-lap race, staying out to obtain track place below the last caution for Martin Truex Jr.’;s spin at lap 426. He is the 4th winner in 4 races this year, right after Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Daytona Seaside, Kevin Harvick at Phoenix, and Brad Keselowski at Las Vegas.

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