The truck race saw a penalty for forcing a driver below the yellow line; The MENCS race saw a similar situation, no call
On Saturday, Johnny Sauter forced Riley Herbst below the yellow line. At the same time, Sauter was clipped and he himself nearly spun but collected the truck. As Sauter did so, all four wheels went below the yellow line.
Sauter went on to cross the finish line first. Initially, Sauter was declared the race winner.
However, the call went under review. After review, it was called a penalty. The race win was removed and Sauter was penalized to finish the last car on the lead lap.
This is a common situation. So much so, that it happened again in the very next race at the same track.
Talladega NASCAR Finish
Crossing Double Yellow Line
On Monday, Talladega Superspeedway hosted the conclusion of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event. A similar situation occurred on the final lap.
On the final lap, Ryan Blaney was leading off turn two. The front eight cars remained single file. But, that was about to change.
Ryan Newman pulled out of line from 4th. Denny Hamlin and Ty Dillon went with him. Newman had the momentum and the lead on the outside lane into turn three.
However, Hamlin remained on his bumper into the corner. Newman went sideways but saved it. That broke the tandem draft.
Newman led Ryan Blaney by two car lengths off turn four. Blaney faked a move to the highside. Newman moved up to block and Blaney dove to the inside.
Newman moved down but it was too late. Blaney was already there. They made contact and Blaney was forced below the double yellow line as he saved his car from spinning. Both left side tires went below the line.
Newman moved up to give him room. The two then reconnected above the yellow line and banged doors all the way to the finish.
Ryan Blaney won the race and was not penalized. Ryan Newman, who forced him below the yellow line, also wasn’t penalized.
NASCAR Rule Book: “NASCAR defines beneath the double yellow lines as follows: when the vehicle’s left side tires are beneath the left line of the inside double yellow lines that separates the apron from the racing surface while passing another vehicle.”
NASCAR explains double yellow line rule in regards to Ryan Newman and Ryan Blaney
“First of all, one guy won the race or appeared to have won the race by making that move and the other didn’t,” Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition explained to Sirius XM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday.
“When you’re talking about Johnny’s situation, he drove all four of his wheels under the yellow line to force (Herbst) down there. It was obviously a lot more blatant in our opinion than what transpired on (Monday).”
“Blaney was down there, Ryan (Newman) wasn’t down there, but certainly in our opinion drove him down there.”
“We reserve the right to call a car that forces another down below the yellow line. We can kind of use our judgement to assess the situation.”
“No two ones of those situations are the same. There’s some subjectivity in it, which isn’t the greatest thing for us. But I think we’re very happy with the calls that we made and feel like both of them were right.”
Will NASCAR review or adjust the yellow line rule?
“The language of the rule is fine,” Miller said.
“There’s always going to be judgment unless we put a wall down there or grass there or something like that. Those things would have their own set of large problems associated with them.”
“We’ve looked at the language many times and have landed on where we are to let us make the calls we feel like are necessary for certain situations.”
“If we didn’t have the yellow line rule, there’s no telling what might ensue with all the skid paths and everything leading into the back straight being so wide. Then, we would find guys getting to the other end having no place to go but the apron.”
“We have to enforce the yellow line rule and we are where we are. We look at everything every time when we have to make a call, all of our rules, not only race procedures, but technical rules as well.”
“We’re constantly trying to get better. … I mean the yellow line rule is not something that we enjoy by any stretch of the imagination. But we have to have it. If we didn’t, there’d be even more mayhem, more than likely.”
No caution on final lap
Coming to the finish line, Chris Buescher and Parker Kligerman wrecked ahead of the tri-oval.
At the front, Ryan Blaney and Ryan Newman were door to door for the win. As they raced it out, no caution was thrown for the wreck behind them.
“When it feels like that it’s not hampering us from dispatching the safety equipment we’ll let things play out,” Miller said.
“That’s kind of our criteria for judging that. Everybody wants to see a checkered flag finish and not a field freeze. We’ll do everything that we can safely to make that happen,” Miller concluded.