NASCAR busts 3, then changes call
Friday, Feb. 13, 2009
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Apparently NASCAR's electronic monitoring of pit road speeds isn't any more of an error-free solution than the use of stopwatches.
During a round of pit stops during the second caution of Friday night's Camping World Truck Series opener at Daytona International Speedway, three drivers were flagged for speeding - Kyle Busch, Timothy Peters and Tayler Malsam - and each served their penalty.
But before the race restarted, NASCAR officials declared over the radio that Busch and Peters' penalties were rescinded due to an error, although Busch didn't get the news in time to reclaim his original position in the lineup before the penalty.
Over his team radio, Busch was livid over NASCAR's uncertainty.
The mistake marks the first time NASCAR has rescinded a speeding penalty since it instituted electronic pit road speed monitoring in 2005. The new system was designed and promoted as being "cut and dried," utilizing computers that easily highlight offenders in red.
When asked how the system failed in this instance, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said, "We ran back through the files and checked the speeds and made a correction."
Busch said he wanted an explanation and wanted to know how it could be prevented in the future.
"It's supposed to be black or white - either it comes up red on the screen or it doesn't." Busch said after the race. "I don't know what happened, but I'd like to know the answer.
"When we found out we had a penalty, we just lollygagged. We spent time working on damage and took our time. If we didn't have a penalty we would have gotten back a lot more than three positions."
Busch recovered from the incident and finished second.