Monday, March 23, 2015

NASCAR defends controversial Fontana cautions

Kurt Busch led 65 laps of Sunday's Auto Club 400. But partly due to late cautions, Brad Keselowski led one lap — the final lap — and took a trip to victory lane away from Busch. 
The yellow flag came out on lap 200 because of debris. Busch, who was leading at the time, later saw another caution (after Kyle Larson made contact with another car) on lap 204 get in the way of his victory.
MORE AUTO CLUB 400: Must-see images | Results 
Busch on his team radio said "WWE" after the series of events that led to a third-place finish behind Keselowski and Kevin Harvick. 
Richard Buck, the managing director of the Sprint Cup Series, defended the cautions after the race.
"We got multiple reports over the radio and confirmed it," said Buck, via FOX Sports. "There was a piece of material — something — in the racing groove, and so we went ahead and called a caution. And by the time that we had called the caution, somebody had hit it."
Buck said he wasn't sure what the piece of debris was.
"I don't have it back yet," Buck said. "I don't have the piece back yet, but we always ask the safety and cleanup crews to return that stuff to us. But there were multiple reports."

Kurt Busch (Getty Images)
Even Keselowski admitted he got away with a win after Busch and Harvick appeared too fast to beat.
"I knew [Harvick] and [Busch] had been the class of the weekend and deserved to win on speed," Keselowski said, via ESPN. "Maybe we kind of stole one today."
Keselowski's crew chief, Paul Wolfe, said he didn't see any debris.
"We hear them (NASCAR) talking about it on the radio, but I personally didn't see it and don't know," said Wolfe, via FOX. "But they call it when we're listening on the scanners. We can hear guys looking for debris, but I didn't see it."
Busch after the race told USA Today he felt his team had the win locked up.
"We had a really good car all day," Busch said. "We're just parked on the wrong spot here on pit road after the race. We had a winning Haas Chevy.
"The yellow sequence didn't go in our favor. I don't know what we could have done different. We just got pinned in by the yellows and the sequence at the end on which tires we needed to have to optimize how many laps were left. We had two tires; Keselowski had four. I just got out-muscled by Keselowski."
Sunday marked Busch's second race back after he served a three-week suspension following allegations of assault on his ex-girlfriend last September.


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