Denny Hamlin was a half car length from the start finish line when the second caution came out during NASCAR overtime
On Sunday, NASCAR returned to the Kansas Speedway. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series field was on hand in a cutoff race in the Playoffs.
In the closing laps of the race, Ryan Blaney cut a tire. That would setup a green, white, checkered finish and chaos ensued.
The green dropped, Denny Hamlin got a huge push from Kyle Busch on the bottom lane. Hamlin was clear as they run three and four wide in the middle of the field.
At this point, if Hamlin reaches the start finish line, the race would be over if a caution came out.
Daniel Suarez was under Brad Keselowski and Alex Bowman as they ran three. Paul Menard had a run on all of them off turn four. Menard looked to the inside of Suarez to make it four wide.
Heading into the tri-oval, they ran out of room. Suarez moved up the banking and into Keselowski. The No. 41 car spun and bounced into several others.
Suarez collected Daniel Hemric as they both found the wall. The field scattered to avoid it. Joey Logano was pushed into the grass and he did a 360.
If Denny Hamlin reached the start finish line. The race would have been over.
Had that happened, Denny Hamlin still would have won. However, the NASCAR Playoff field would have looked a little different. Both Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski would have advanced. Chase Elliott would have been eliminated.
Fans were quick to take it to social media with outrage as NASCAR stated the race would be restarted. They thought Hamlin reached the line before the caution flag was deployed. He did. But, the field isn’t frozen on the flag, it’s frozen on the light.
However, the caution button was in fact pushed, by less than a car length before Hamlin crossed the start finish line.
The racked the field once more. Chase Elliott was able to climb to 2nd. Joey Logano would advance but Brad Keselowski would be eliminated.
Denny Hamlin on the caution flag in overtime
“I mean we qualified 23rd. We know we don’t have the outright fastest car. But, we have a great handling car. And that’s the crew chiefs job,” Hamlin said of his ride after the race.
“I would love to see it. Because, I knew it was really close,” Denny Hamlin stated of the caution light.
Denny Hamlin was then shown a freeze frozen screen. It shows Hamlin’s car in relation to when the light came on.
“I just want to say this… Someone had their finger on the button.”
“I’m glad it all worked out. They were ready to press that thing.”
NASCAR reacts to the caution call at Kansas Speedway
The yellow flag wasn’t out, the white flag was. However, the call isn’t made off the flag, it’s made off the light.
“If you look at the language, it’s when the leader takes the white at the line,” Steve O’Donnell said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“The white flag was certainly out but there is a human element to the sport in terms of timing. It’s not an automatic where a light goes on and flag waves.”
“In this case, the light actually came on, I think it was .125 seconds before the car hit the start/finish line. It was a caution at that point. Certainly very close.”