Anthony Alfredo lost a tire during the race at Martinsville Speedway and it took a few laps for NASCAR to throw a caution
On Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series raced on the short track of Martinsville Speedway. There was an odd moment in the final stage of the event.
With 100 laps to go, the race was in the middle of a green flag pit cycle. 7 cars had yet to pit.
With 99 to go, a tire was shown on the tv coverage, separated from a vehicle and resting against the outside wall.
Bubba Wallace screamed on the radio, “There’s a tire in the f*cking restart zone! If we hit one of those we’d kill somebody.”
“That should be a caution. I’m not quite sure why it’s not,” Bobby Labonte stated from the Fox broadcast booth.
22 seconds after the tire was first shown on tv, a caution was thrown with 98 to go.
“From up here in the grandstands or even in the booth, even for NASCAR. Somebody had to tell them, the teams probably told them. You couldn’t see it up against the wall,” Clint Bowyer added.
The tire came off the car driven by Anthony Alfredo. It happened following a pit stop, meaning the pit crew didn’t get the lug tight. That will result in a hefty penalty including crew member suspensions later today.
A lost tire is a major safety concern thus the reason NASCAR has such stiff penalties for the violation. If a tire is struck by a 3,200 lbs car at over 100mph, there’s no telling what might happen.
When NASCAR misses a call or makes a mistake, they do have a history of taking the blame and looking into ways to improve for the future…
NASCAR takes fault in delayed caution resulting in scary crash (2021)
NASCAR comments on the missed tire
“The short answer, that one’s on us,” Elton Sawyer stated on ‘The Morning Drive’ via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“We should have thrown the caution sooner. No excuse. I can set the table of how it happened.”
“We’re going through green flag pit stops. Everyone is focused in the tower, on that. Our turn spotters are focused on pit entry, the commitment box and things of that nature.”
“And, just the way the tire ended up in turn four, against the wall and there was some shadows there. Again, no excuse. I’m just setting the table for our fans.”
“We didn’t see it from the tower. As we’re going through that communication, because you’re in the middle of green flag pit stops, we want to make sure we get it right and it just took too long. Just bottom line.”
Sawyer concluded, “We need to be better on that and we will.”
Martinsville Race Results: April 16, 2023 (NASCAR Cup Series)