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Caution Debate Rolls On In Kansas Garages

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, June 5 2011

Kevin Harvick burns some tires after winning the Coca-Cola 600 last Sunday night. Some say a caution should have been waved before he took the checkered flag. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Gregg Ellman)

By Nick Bromberg | Senior Writer

Kansas City, Kan. – Should the caution have come out after the first attempt at the green-white-checker finish started during last week’s Coca-Cola 600?

Depends who you talked to in the garages at Kansas Speedway this weekend.

“I am not in the business of calling races, so I don’t know if there should have been one or not,” Matt Kenseth said.

“I expected a caution just because from where I was there was a lot of smoke. I actually slowed down. I probably could have made up five spots but I thought there was going to be a caution. I had just gotten the lucky dog and I didn’t want to run into something trying to get up there and hurt somebody. I slowed up and by the time I realized there wasn’t going to be a caution I was all the way down through one and two and probably could have made some spots up. I will have to be more aware of that next time.”

A caution flag didn’t come out after Kasey Kahne – who was leading the field back to the green flag – ran out of gas just past the start/finish line and bunched up the field. Brad Keselowski suffered heavy damage and Jeff Burton slid towards the infield in turn one.

“As it turned out, it didn’t look like it needed to be a caution. A caution would have helped us a lot, so from that perspective, I wish there would have been one. NASCAR has to do the best they can and they didn’t feel like they needed to throw a caution there and in the end everyone finished the race safely,” Carl Edwards said.

Earlier in the race – with Kenseth leading and the race having that dreaded “green flag

Dale Earnhardt Jr. came up just short in Charlotte. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

look” – the caution flag flew because a drink can was on the track in Turn One.

“Everything in this sport is circumstantial anyway. If there’s a caution, there’s a caution. If there’s no caution, you just keep racing. From what I understand, I wasn’t there and I didn’t see it – there was a bunch up on the restart and there were a few cars that kind of banged up and one spun or something like that and they didn’t throw a caution,” Kyle Busch said.

“From what I understand, all of the cars kept rolling. They didn’t hit anything. There wasn’t a big wreck or nothing like that. To me, I thought NASCAR did fine in what they did.”

A caution flag could have benefitted Dale Earnhardt Jr. the most as he was leading when Kahne ran out of fuel. Earnhardt Jr. then ran out of fuel entering turns three and four on the final lap, allowing Kevin Harvick to sneak by for the win.

Had the caution flag flown after Earnhardt Jr. took the white flag, say, as he was entering the site of the crash in turn one, he would have been declared the race winner.

Instead, Junior missed out on a win for the 105th straight time. But, on the bright side for those looking for entertainment, it led to some memorable Earnhardt Jr. fan reaction videos on YouTube.

“That’s the way I take a Redskins loss. I take a Redskins season the same way. I’m as bitter as I was at the end of the season – I’m still as bitter about it. When you’re passionate and you care, it’s a cliché, but when that’s all that matters you’re ticked until things get right or you’re upset until things get right no matter what,” Earnhardt Jr. said.

“I can definitely relate. Then again, that extends itself of that tells you a lot about the way the world is today and what kind of world we’re living in. Everything is going straight to the internet.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, June 5 2011


  • allan says:

    What are they talking about the caution would have helped jr. It should have come out on the restart not the white flag. Therefore he would have run out for sure which is why they didnt wave it.

  • Terry says:

    I think the cautions get stranger every year. This last race….it seem obvious to me that is was not so much to win it for Jr…..but to make sure the FORDS did not win.