February 20, 2007

NOTHING STOCK ABOUT IT:

Wild Daytona 500 finish bent both fenders, rules (JENNA FRYER, 2/20/07, The Associated Press)

It was a split-second decision that NASCAR could get neither right nor wrong.

As the cars tumbled across the track in the Daytona 500's closing moments, series officials had to make a tough choice.

They could throw a caution flag immediately, giving Mark Martin a sentimental victory while denying Kevin Harvick a chance to race to the finish. Or they could let them race on -- even as a seven-car demolition derby exploded behind them -- in a frenzied final stretch that will be remembered as one of the best in NASCAR history.

NASCAR went for the drama.

When the cars crossed the finish line, the cheating scandal that ensnared five teams and tainted preparations for the Great American Race was forgotten -- at least for a while. [...]

In the old days, drivers raced to the flag when the caution came out. That practice was stopped in 2003, when NASCAR determined it was too dangerous to allow speeding cars to zip past an accident scene.

Now, the field is frozen and all cars must slow down when a caution comes out. Multi-car mayhem generally warrants a caution. But as Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon bumped and banged across the track just a few hundred yards from the finish, NASCAR let the racing go on.

It wasn't until Clint Bowyer flipped, crossing the finish line on his roof as flames ripped through his car, that NASCAR finally waved the yellow flag.


After the last 50 laps you had a sense that if they just raced a little longer ever car would be upside down.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2007 12:00 AM
Comments

It wasn't until Clint Bowyer flipped, crossing the finish line on his roof as flames ripped through his car, that NASCAR finally waved the yellow flag.

Upside down and on fire crossing the finish line, now that's the way to do it!

Posted by: pchuck at February 20, 2007 9:03 PM
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