NASCAR »

Late caution propels Busch back onto victory lane

"I thought I was getting the best start I could get, it looked like Tony waited or spun his tyres," continued Edwards. "So they black flagged me. I still don't understand why they black flagged me. They said we were the leader and I restarted the best I could.

"I don't think it is right and I don't agree with it," finished Edwards, still unclear at the time exactly what the reason for the black flag had been for. "Before I say something stupid because I am real frustrated I would like to go talk to them."

"We were the first one to line up and we were the leader on the board," insisted Stewart for his part. "I don't know how much clearer it could be that we were the leader. If that was the case then they should have put the caution out and given him the opportunity to choose the lane that he wanted. It's a miscommunication between upstairs and the drivers," he added.

That dropped Edwards down to 15th place although he stayed on the lead lap at least, while Stewart, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and AJ Allmendinger led the race up front. With 50 laps to go it was emerging as a two-man race, with Stewart in control but Busch riding those fresher tyres for all they were worth so that both men were pulling away from Earnhardt behind them.

Edwards' fury was complete on lap 373 when Tony Stewart put him a lap down; Stewart now had a 1.8s lead over Busch and was starting to look a dead cert for the win, while further back Jimmie Johnson had clawed his way from that tyre violation drive-thru to get back up to sixth place behind Hendrick Motorsport team mate Kasey Kahne, while Allmendinger's pace had dropped off a cliff after light contact with Juan Montoya and he fell out of the top ten altogether.

With just 15 laps to go, it seemed that Stewart had broken Busch's resolve and was now three seconds ahead; but a lap later, a stray waterbottle in turn 2 was enough to trigger a debris caution and suddenly all bets were off for the restart.

All the leaders came in for a fuel top-up and more over a full set of new tyres - even Busch, who had sneaked in that 'free' stop during the previous caution. He couldn't afford to be caught out on older rubber than the others for the last ten-lap shoot-out or else he would be swamped, but he did at least get the best pit stop of those who came in and popped to the front for the restart, while Tony Stewart's stop was slightly sluggish and he had to settle for second on the more difficult, dirtier line.

Busch got a great restart; but Stewart - as had been his frustrating habit all evening - spun his wheels. Not only wasn't he able to stick with the #18, but he was also passed for second place by Dale Earnhardt Jr. who was determined to stick as close to Busch as he possibly could.

Earnhardt's challenge for the victory was thwarted by a last-minute brake issue, and while he had just enough to stay in front of Stewart there was nothing he could do about the race winner.

"We had some brake problems all race long," explained Earnhardt later. "I had a great re-start and I ran really great for one lap and the pedal went back to the floor. I just had to pump it up all the way down the straightaway and I didn't have any front brakes getting into the corner so I couldn't get in real hard. It would just get loose locking the rears up."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch takes his fourth chequered flag in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #33 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, celebrates after taking first in the Xfinity Series Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville on at Road America on August 29, 2015 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #33 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 29, 2015 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #33 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after taking first in the Xfinity Series Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville on at Road America on August 29, 2015 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #33 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag at the end of the Xfinity Series Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville on at Road America on August 29, 2015 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.