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NASCAR says it missed William Byron spin Denny Hamlin under caution Long: NASCAR needs to quickly correct officiating issue from Texas Texas shuffles NASCAR Cup playoff standings Winners and losers at Texas Motor Speedway Blown tires end race early for several Texas contenders

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FORT WORTH, Texas. A senior NASCAR executive admitted that the representatives of the series did not see William Byron rotation Danny Hamlin under watch at the forefront of Sunday’s Cup playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The missed call could have serious consequences in the playoffs – even if series officials decide to penalize Byron later this week, as hinted on Sunday night.

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The problem arose after Martin Truex Jr. Blew a tire while leading and crashed on turn 3 on lap 269 of a 334 lap race.

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As the warning lights came on, Hamlin slowed down. Byron hit him in retaliation for pinning him against the wall earlier. Hamlin spun across the grass in the infield. NASCAR did not return Hamlin to his original spot prior to the contact and did not penalize Byron.

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“When we were in the tower, we paid more attention to the actual cause of the warning there and shipped our equipment,” Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said after the race. “The case of William Byron and Danny Hamlin, which we did not look at. We saw Danny walking on the grass.

“By the time we got a replay that showed the incident well enough to do something about it, we were back to green. I’m not sure if this issue is completely resolved at the moment. We’ll look into that when we get back to work.”

Miller did not elaborate on what NASCAR might do this week.

Hamlin expressed his shock on social media at Miller’s comments:

Miller explained how officials missed the Byron-Hamlin incident: “The cameras and monitors that we have, we use mainly to judge and observe our security vehicles and how to dispatch them. By the time we have all these cameras installed (on the monitor in the control room), we won’t have a place to monitor all the car cameras.

“If we had immediate access to[Byron’s]car camera, it would help us a lot as we were able to find it quickly. It’s definitely one of the things we pay attention to.”

According to Miller, if NASCAR had seen the incident or the video earlier, officials would have reacted.

“If we saw it well enough to react to it in real time, which we should have, like no excuses, we would probably have two options,” he said. “First, you had to get Hamlin back in place, and second, you had to get William to stand in the back.”

Race winner Tyler Reddick said NASCAR needed to rectify the situation to avoid other contact with caution in the future.

“In William’s situation, whether he hit him by accident or on purpose, there should be some kind of punishment for him from that side because he completely ruined someone’s race, intentionally or not,” Reddick said. “I feel like something needs to be done there.

I’m sure (NASCAR) will make some decision. I’m sure they’ll decide something this week, updates from NASCAR. I’ll be curious to see what it is. We can’t have that when you drop someone with caution, and they go to the rear, and you don’t. This could potentially be an interesting situation in the future.”

Byron said he slapped Hamlin to show his displeasure at being backed up against the wall.

“I felt like he kicked me off the race track at (turn) 2 and hit the wall really hard,” Byron said. “It felt like the finger link was definitely bent, fortunately not completely broken. We were able to continue.

“A lot of times that kind of damage will ruin your race, especially one this strong. I totally understand how to get close to someone and make a little contact, but it was pretty big.”

Of the retaliation, Byron said, “I didn’t mean to piss him off. This is definitely not what I intended to do. I wanted to hit him a little and show my displeasure, and unfortunately I did. Obviously when he got out, I was like, ‘I didn’t mean to do this,’ but I was definitely upset.”

Hamlin didn’t think so.

“I think we can just destroy each other as a matter of caution,” Hamlin told Kim Kun, a correspondent for NBC Sports. “I tried to get him back. I don’t think we touched. I have to look. I don’t think we touched. Obviously he sent us through the infield with caution.

Asked about talking to Byron, Hamlin said, “I keep hearing these guys, but I’ll just add this to the list of guys when I get a chance they get it.”

Hamlin and crew chief Chris Geibhart were disappointed that NASCAR did not return Hamlin to second after contact. Instead, NASCAR placed him outside the top 15. After the pitting, Hamlin was back in 19th place. Byron after pitting restarted 10th.

“A man breaks you under a warning and he gets no punishment?” Geibhart radioed the commands. “What are they doing?”

Hamlin said after the race, “I can’t argue with them about the rules inside the car and the team did their best to try and prove it, but we ended up driving carefully through the infield.”

As a result, Byron finished seventh. This puts him in third place in the playoff standings. He’s 17 points above the cut line ahead of next weekend’s race at Talladega.

Hamlin finished 10th and sixth in the playoff standings. It is eight points above the cut line.

NASCAR’s admission that it didn’t see William Byron spin Denny Hamlin with care during Sunday’s Cup playoff race is alarming.

With video evidence of the rule violation and Hamlin’s team’s spirited easing up, series officials had reason enough to be more careful about putting Hamlin back in second place before the race returned to green flag conditions. Or some other remedy even after the race is restarted.

Add to that the series officials’ lack of access to Byron’s vehicular camera… something that fans could easily see on and on the NASCAR mobile app. — and changes need to be made ahead of this weekend’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.

While NASCAR should make every effort to resolve issues between drivers regardless of their playoff status, the fact that two playoff drivers were involved in the incident requires more attention. With three races per round, one wrong move could mean the difference between promotion or elimination.

Just as more is expected of riders and teams in the playoffs, the same is to be expected of officials.

“If we saw this (contact) well enough to respond to it in real time, which we should have done, like no excuses, we would probably have two options,” said Scott Miller, senior vice President of NASCAR Competitions. Sunday evening. “First, you had to get Hamlin back in place, and second, you had to get William to stand in the back.”

Here’s how the incident played out:

The warning was lifted on lap 269 Martin Truex Jr.crash at 8:19 pm ET.

As Hamlin slowed down, Byron moved in and hit him from behind.

Byron admitted after the race that the contact was deliberate, although he didn’t want to beat Hamlin. Byron was upset by how Hamlin overtook him on lap 262. Byron felt Hamlin push him into the wall as they exited turn two side by side. Byron expressed his displeasure during the warning.

Approximately 90 seconds after the warning lights came on, a US broadcast showed a replay of Byron from a low angle right behind Hamlin’s car and obvious contact.

Contact can take place in several ways. This can happen because the lead car slammed on the brakes and forced the car behind to hit them, or because the trailing car hit the car in front. The first video replay did not clarify what caused the contact, making it difficult for any official to make a decision based solely on it.

This is also the time when NASCAR officials have been monitoring safety vehicles on the track, checking lineups, and making sure pit road is ready for reopening. This is what NASCAR does effortlessly most of the time. Just not this time.



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