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Did NASCAR Mess Trevor Bayne Over?

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.

Video: Bayne gets wrecked 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?

Topics: Michael Annett, Steven Wallace, Trevor Bayne

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  • travis miller

    yes they took away his opportunity to contend for a win, they should should have put him back in his spot it was the pace cars fault.

  • Jackie

    I agree totally with Travis. It is obvious by the video that the pace car came out at the wrong time. Trevor was trying to do what was right by Nascar’s rules and not pass the pace car and ended up basically being penalized anyway. Of course, you are not going to get Nascar to admit to any wrong doing here.

  • Dave in Indy

    NASCAR will probably say that Bayne could have legally passed the pace car, carefully slowed and let the pace car catch back up. I have seen in several instances where the leaders have done that without penalty.

    THAT BEING SAID – The pace car should have waited a lap!

  • Jackie

    Dave you may be right. The problem is, no one ever knows what Nascar will say. Just Trevor’s luck, if he would have passed the pace car, they probably would have penalized him. Nascar needs to quit being so wishy washy with their rules and stick to one thing so the drivers aren’t constantly wondering what is right and what is wrong.

  • Doobie

    No kidding!
    Just ask Mark Martin (Daytona, 2007)
    or Regan Smith (Talladega, 2008)

  • Doobie

    …then again, they’ll probably avoid saying anything for fear of getting penalized for THAT, too!

  • missouriracefan

    I was at the race Saturday night. Trevor Bayne did not immediately try to get past the pace car and was not penalized for that. After it was determined he was still the leader, he really did drive fast past the other cars during the caution in order to reassume his lead position. Steven Wallace also drove fast to resume his position at second. Both drivers were penalized and put back before the restart. It surprised me how fast both drivers were going during the caution lap. Unfortunate that both young men were penalized but they broke the safety rules. Why Bayne was put back further than Wallace I don’t understand – although he was driving faster to resume the lead position. Obviously none of this would have happened if the pace car had properly entered the track.

  • travis miller

    sorry to inform you missourracefan but the reason trevor had to restart in 11th and steveb restarted a few postions ahead of him was because steven got back up to the minimum speed required by nascar befor trevor did, and the reason they placed them where they did was because when steven spun trevor out they both stopped on the track and were penalized for going below the minimum speed. so when they got back going thats were they would have blended in.