Main menu


Can Talladega open the door to a record 20th winner?

Did NASCAR make the right decision two days after the incident by fined William Byron 25 points and $50,000 for discreetly spinning Denny Hamlin?

This is the question answered in the Hendrick Motorsport Appeal.

But this extends to a broader issue. Now that fans have access to video elements of sports, how much influence can or should they have in uncovering potential penalties going forward?

Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition, admitted after last weekend’s race in Texas that series officials didn’t see Byron run into Hamlin.

MORE: Alex Bowman to miss Talladega race

Video from a U.S. broadcast suggested Byron spun Hamlin, but officials said it wasn’t Byron who ran into him, Hamlin braked Byron and initiated contact. I was able to ask whether

The question was resolved when the NASCAR Twitter account posted a video from Byron’s in-car camera, showing Byron slamming into the back of Hamlin’s car, three minutes after green flag racing resumed. it was done.

After the race, Byron admitted to running into Hamlin, but Byron said he never intended to spin Hamlin. Byron, upset that Hamlin had raced him a few laps earlier, knocked Byron into the wall.

“I didn’t mean to spin him,” Byron said after the race. “It definitely wasn’t what I meant. I was going to show my displeasure by bumping him a bit, but unfortunately it turned out that way.”

On-board camera video from Byron’s car was the view fans could see as part of the program that began with the start of the playoffs. You can see the onboard camera view of every car inside.

Television broadcasts did not have access to these in-car views. Miller said officials were also unable to access it. That will probably change.

In this case, it was NASCAR’s social media accounts that made people aware of what Byron had done. In the future, what if it was the fans who found something that the people involved didn’t capture and the TV didn’t show? What if that fan posted a video of him clipping the incident from a particular dash cam, should that lead to a penalty during the event or a few days later?

Golf has faced similar problems over the past decade, with golf’s major professional tours saying that after January 1, 2018, they will no longer accept calls or emails from fans they believe have found a rule violation. I was. Instead, the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA of America and others said they would assign at least one official to monitor all tournament telecasts and resolve any rule issues.

“It’s a tricky deal,” said Ryan Blaney. “Especially with the rise of social media and all the accessibility that the internet can offer with all these live he feeds from all cars, I think it’s a good idea, but in certain circumstances there is some controversy. may occur.”

Those watching last weekend’s Cup race posted a video of the violation: NASCAR did not penalize Ty Gibbs after closing the door on Ty Dillon on pit road during the race. Video clips of the incident quickly appeared on social media shortly after the incident.

Series officials usually review races on Tuesdays. This is an opportunity to assess penalties for more informed incidents.

NASCAR docked Gibbs 25 points and fined him $75,000 for Tuesday’s incident. It was the second penalty of the year for contact on pit road. Gibbs was fined $15,000 for crashing into Sam Mayer’s car on pit road after his Xfinity race at Martinsville.

Another important question is whether it’s better to be right or if something is missed during the event, even if it takes place days after the event.

Section 4.4.C of the Cup Rulebook states that a driver may be docked between 25 and 50 points (driver and team owner points), fined between $50,000 and $100,000, and/or may be suspended from racing, suspended indefinitely, or “intentionally Destroying another vehicle, regardless of whether that vehicle is excluded from the competition as a result.”

So even if NASCAR had penalized Byron during the event, officials could have penalized him further on Tuesday. It’s not a situation where there are penalties during the race or after the race. it can be both.

Ryan Blaney says he likes decisions made in the moment, and lets it go if it’s not.

“You don’t have to worry that something will happen in a few days,” he said. I think we need to try to do things right in the moment.”

Byron’s penalty is an example. He left Texas third in the playoff standings, 17 points ahead of the cutline. The penalty puts him 8 points below the cut line.

2. Battle for stage points

One of the questions about the Cup race on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway (2pm ET on NBC) is what the playoff drivers should do. Should they ride behind to increase their chances of finishing to score big points, or should they run ahead and go for his points at the risk of being caught in a crash?

Kyle Larson, who is third and 23 points above the cut line, said he doesn’t think a playoff driver is behind him.

“There are so many stage points on the line, and if you can get those stage points, even if you get wrecked, you can have a decent points day,” he said. “I foresee everyone racing pretty hard.”

If a driver gets behind early in a stage, he will need to complete 10 laps of the stage and be in the top 10 to have any chance of scoring stage points.

At the spring Talladega race, 75% of the top 10 drivers with 10 laps to go in either of the first two stages finished in the top 10 and scored points.

Larson scored 17 stage points at Talladega. Add that to his 4th-place finish and he left there with his 50 points. He was his only three other drivers to score 40 or more points in this race: Martin Truex Jr. (45), Chase Elliott (44) and winner Ross His Chastain (42).

All four of these drivers were in the top ten with ten laps to go. Chastain ran no less than 4th on those final laps before taking the lead on the final lap.

Chastain won that race after overcoming a pit road speeding penalty in the first stage. He failed to score any points in his first stage. He returned the lap with a caution at the stage break, and steadily improved his position in the second stage to finish in 9th place.

What are his plans for Sunday?

“We’re still talking through them,” said Chastain. And it would be bad if we knew what we were doing.Let’s see how the race starts.”

3. RCR Turnaround

In the 14 races since NBC/USA took over broadcasting the Cup season, Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing each have won a series-high four races.

RCR wins came from Tyler Reddick at Road America, Reddick at Indianapolis Road Course, Austin Dillon at Daytona and Reddick at Texas last weekend.

That’s 4 wins in 13 races in the RCR. It took the organization 192 races to win the last four races before this recent stretch.

RCR Competition Director Andy Petrie said: “It was one thing. What has happened over the years is that some of these mega teams have been able to build advantages into their equipment.

More than that. His four wins over Reddick and Dillon doubled the organization’s in the previous four seasons. They combined 13 top-three finishes, including a 1-2 run at Daytona in the regular season finale in August.

By contrast, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott (two-time Cup champions) have combined for six wins and twelve top-three finishes this season.

Together, Reddick and Dillon have 14 Top 5 finishes. This equates to the number of top 5 the organization has combined over the last four seasons. Reddick’s lead of 439 laps exceeds the organization’s last four season total (410 laps).

“Everything is so close that obviously the drivers are more important,” said Petrie. “Drivers can make a big difference.

4. Numerical calculation

Some things to ponder:

RFK Racing has led 309 laps in the last two races alongside Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher. This is more than the total number the organization has led in the past 105 races. His 417 laps for RFK Racing this season is the most since 2013.

The driver leading the white flag has finished fifth or worse in each of the last four Talladega races he has completed. In the spring race Eric Jones took the lead with the white flag. He finished sixth.

A driver who won a playoff race at the Talladega Cup never won that season.

Kyle Busch is the only driver to finish in the top 10 at all three races at Daytona and Talladega this season. He finished 6th in the Daytona 500. At Talladega in the spring he was third. He was 10th at Daytona in August.

A stage winner has not won an event in the last 11 races.

This season’s 19 winners set a record for the most wins in a season in 1956, ’58, ’61 and 2001.

5. 600th race

On Sunday, Rodney Childers will head into his 600th Career Cup race as Cup crew chief. He became the 15th crew chief in series history to record at least his 600 starts.

He and Kevin Harvick have been together since 2014. Two 313 races is the longest record for an active driver and crew combination for his chief.

Harvick and Childers have won 37 races, including two this season, and the 2014 championship is within reach.