John Andretti defends NASCAR's late call

Calypso

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Apr 29, 2009
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carsandcombat.com
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- John Andretti defended NASCAR's decision not to throw a caution when he couldn't move his disabled car from the finish line at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.

Andretti crashed on the frontstretch during the next to lap of the race, and NASCAR apparently believed he could move his car out of the way in time for the field to race its way across the finish line. Because he couldn't, the caution wasn't called until the cars were coming out of the final turn and quickly closing in on Andretti.

"It wasn't a bad call," Andretti said in a statement on Monday. "To me, I wasn't in a great position, but I wasn't in an overly dangerous position. NASCAR focuses on the race itself, and they want to see the winner come across the finish line.

"It's probably the call I would've made. I would've gotten out of the way if I could've. But I had a couple of issues. The car was too damaged."

It's second time since the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship that NASCAR waited until the last moment to call a caution for an accident near the start/finish line. A similar incident occurred last month in the Chase opener at New Hampshire.

Three-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson, who finished second, said NASCAR was consistent with its effort of waiting as long as possible to throw the caution in an effort to not spoil an exciting finish.

But, "it makes me a little nervous as I'm charging into the start/finish line and there's a car sitting there," he said. "I wish it would be thrown a little bit earlier for safety reasons. Might as well be on the safe side."

Race-winner Denny Hamlin said he thought Andretti's car did not pose a threat to the other competitors and NASCAR made the right call.

"I think they're at least doing a good job of not letting it affect the top five finishing positions," he said. "They're doing all they can. They don't know what's going on inside that race car, if that guy has given up on starting it or is he continuing to try to get it going. I think as long as they let it play out, it's fine."


John Andretti, other racers defend NASCAR's decision not to call caution on final laps at Martinsville - ESPN
 

dpkimmel2001

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Nov 6, 2008
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I heard Andretti's interview on CBL's show last night saying the same thing.

Brian must really be putting the screws on him! LOL
 

foyt

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Oct 23, 2008
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What did Dale Jarrett have to say up in the booth? I'll never forget seeing him crosswise at the line with the field bearing down on him, racing back to caution.

His thoughts would be interesting.
 

mghtx

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Oct 23, 2008
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It really was an unusual situation...and again, I doubt if the drivers would have slowed down anyway since it was the last lap. They would have kept going until they just HAD to slow down.

If I'm Denny going into turn 3/4 on the last lap at martinsville? I'm going to the finish line! (unless the whole darn track is blocked..) But I'm making sure I get that win and if nascar wants to talk to me later they can. ;)
 

dpkimmel2001

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I just went back and watched the end again. He didn't have as much to say as you may think. His only concern seemed to be when Andretti attempted to pull out in front of the pack of cars.

Blast from the past.....

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfJneG9Urbc&feature=PlayList&p=25A16AC93E1A8C28&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=10]YouTube - Dale Jarrett - hampshire - 2003 - crash[/ame]
 

mghtx

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I've never seen that before since that was during my hiatus from nascar. Thanks.

But I always heard that his driver side door was facing oncoming traffic.
 

dpkimmel2001

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I've never seen that before since that was during my hiatus from nascar. Thanks.

But I always heard that his driver side door was facing oncoming traffic.


You know what, that is how I remembered it as well. Maybe the video that Larry Mac is commenting on is not the correct one or maybe my memory fails me, (wouldn't be the first or last time). I don't know. I did a search and that's what I found. They described it that way but maybe someone else can do better with their search?
 

mghtx

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Oct 23, 2008
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Man, I watched the Michael Waltrip crash at Bristol in '88 via your YouTube link.

What a crash! :eek: And look at all the guys running onto the track! Wow...have times changed. And it still amazes me at how Bristol has "grown up". Lots of memories there...I used to go there in the mid-90's.
 

DexterMorgan

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Oct 22, 2008
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When Andretti backed it into the wall, Hamlin was coming out of turn 2, just like New Hampshire, if the officials throw the caution, like they do 99 out of 100 times they have an accident, Hamlin has plenty of time to slow down and cross the line at a reduced speed.
 

foyt

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Yeah, I agree that NASCAR screwed the pooch on that no-call, just like at Louden. Hoots should have said "put it out" immediately. Moody is of the same opinon.