Dale Jr calls out the sanction for blatantly false NASCAR cautions used to create excitement
NASCAR made more mistakes than just ambulances. The sanction was trigger happy with the cautions at Richmond Raceway. 3 to go, Derrike Cole scraped the wall. He was a non-contender, no damage. Yet, it netted a caution.
Martin Truex Jr was dominating the race to that point. A slow pit stop caused him to lose the lead. His championship rival, Kyle Larson went on to take the win.
Dale Earnhardt Jr
“The ambulance issue puts a vail over something a little more serious,” Dale Earnhardt Jr opens the conversation via his ‘Dale Jr Download’ podcast.
“Throwing the yellow for Matt [Kenseth] locking up his brakes. Throwing the yellow for Derrike Cope barely scrapin’ the wall.”
“NASCAR looks at the Richmond race as an opportunity. There’s a lot of people paying attention right then. There’s a lot of people watching NASCAR because it’s the last race and there’s all these people trying to get into the playoff’s.”
“So, NASCAR knows that there’s a lot of people watching. They know that they need to have some excitement, some drama.”
“I think they get a little trigger happy with the cautions. Long green flag runs, We’re [drivers] aren’t creating cautions out there. So, NASCAR’s looking for opportunities to throw the yellow. In those situations, they just kinda get a little trigger happy.”
“That’s something that kinda rubs me the wrong way a little bit. But, I’ve complained about the cautions for a long long time. It doesn’t really seem to do any good.”
“It’s just a little too obvious some times, those late yellows. I mean you just know they’re coming. It would not be so obvious if they threw it with 20 or 10 to go. But not setup an obvious green-white-checkered.”
“It’s a little frustrating. I’m frustrated with it, running 13th. Imagine how Truex feels. It’s just real frustrating. You run 400 laps, with your tongue hanging out. Just going as hard as you can all night long.”
“It’s definitely questionable. I think you might not see much of that, going forward. Until Homestead. It’s in these big races. It’s like they know they have so many people paying attention.”
“They just feel like they need a moment. But, they need to happen authentically and naturally.”
Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr were very vocal about the debris cautions after Michigan. In the following ten races, NASCAR took note and let the races play out naturally.
NASCAR listened. They even received praise from Tony Stewart for letting the races play out naturally. Over the next ten races, debris cautions were all but non-existent.
Until Richmond, a high intensity, highly viewed event. NASCAR tried to create excitement. They certainly did. It wasn’t from a debris caution. But a little brake smoke and a wall scrap netted two non-sense yellow flags.
Martin Truex Jr ended up in the wall after help from Denny Hamlin’s front bumper. Larson capitalized and took the win. That’s a 10 point swing in Larson favor.
Important points that will carry all the way to Homestead. Those cautions at Richmond could turn into a major factor at the Championship 4 race.
But it’s not real. That’s fabricated excitement created from a false caution. Maybe the casual fan doesn’t know the difference. But the core fans see right through all that. Off to the dirt track they go…
Author: Shane Walters