During Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at O’ Reilly Raceway Park, there was plenty of excitement to behold.
There was also a bit of controversy.
On lap 36, the caution came out when rookie Michael Annett spun and hit the wall in turn 3. What ensued was one of the most controversial incidents we may see all season.
Leader Trevor Bayne was approaching turn 1 when the caution came out. The pace car immediately entered the track, forcing a split-second reaction by Bayne to stomp on the brakes to avoid passing the pace car, which is illegal in NASCAR racing. Behind Bayne was Steven Wallace, who, without seeing the pace car, had no time to react. Wallace ran over Bayne, spinning him out under caution.
After spinning out at the fault of the pace car driver, whose misjudgement of where the leaders were prompted Bayne’s quick reaction, Bayne attempted to regain his rightful position at the front of the field. However, according to NASCAR rules, a minimum speed must be maintained in order to keep your position on the race track. A speed which Bayne could not maintain because he was sideways, stopped in the middle of the track.
Instead of making an exception for Bayne, who got spun because of NASCAR’s pace car driver, NASCAR, in typical NASCAR fashion, ignored the circumstances which caused the situation(which was one of its employee’s errors), and exercised its infinate power by moving Bayne to the back of the pack.
Bayne, who led the first 36 laps, tried for the rest of the race to claw himself back into the position that was stripped away by NASCAR’s higher powers. He finished 7th.
What do you think? Did NASCAR mess Trevor Bayne over? Or did NASCAR do the right thing under the circumstances?