NASCAR SVP further explains the call made on Justin Haley – Haley won the race but was penalized to 18th
Justin Haley made his second start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Friday night. He crossed the line first at Daytona International Speedway.
As Elliott Sadler and Kyle Larson battled for the win they all but forgot about the second row. Larson and Sadler banged doors, slowing each other down.
Haley already had a run before that contact. He swung to the inside and drove right on by both of them. He took the win in the final few hundred feet to a standing ovation from the crowd.
Watch the video of the pass below.
In his second showing, Haley was heading to victory lane. However, the pass was ruled illegal as he crossed the double yellow line. The penalty regulated him to 18th as Kyle Larson assumed the win.
The rule wasn’t put into place for the type of situation that Haley was in. Haley had plenty of room to stay above the yellow line, he just swung too far when he made the slingshot pass.
The rule is to prevent dive bomb passes into turn 1 and turn 3. It’s also there to prevent drivers from forcing the lead car and thus the entire field into a vulnerable situation.
However, a rule is a rule. Regardless of why it’s in place, it needs to be enforced. Otherwise, NASCAR is going to have to make judgement calls. They make some of those. But, it’s best for any sanctioning body to stay away from those if they can.
“There are clear rules int he rulebook that you have to race above the yellow line,” NASCAR Senior VP of Competition Scott Miller explained on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“We have two wide yellow lines, a black line in the middle. Our definition of under the yellow line. There’s a penalty when the left side tires go below the inside most yellow line.”
“The reason there is the rule is actually instituted by NASCAR quite a long time ago. When things were getting completely out of hand with two and three cars belong the yellow line.”
“If we didn’t have rules to keep them above the yellow line then there’s no telling what kind of craziness may ensue.”
“You know what would happen if we swallowed the risk. We would be inundated with, ‘How come they don’t enforce their own rules?’ ”
“It’s kind of a bad situation either way when it ends up costing somebody the race win. But, we have the rules and we have to enforce them.”
Making the call
“We have all the cameras. We can get through very very quickly with those. Certainly we have the broadcast feed which also showed it very clearly.”
“There was a lot of different angles that showed it. So, we didn’t have to dig too deep to establish that there was the violation,” Miller concluded.
Justin Haley was pretty upset soon after the incident. A few hours later he was able to joke about his night via twitter.
“What’s up twitter world, anyone get into anything fun last night? Not gonna lie, I had a pretty low key night myself,” Haley tweeted after the Daytona event.