The race at Richmond may have left many wondering about the outcome of the race in concerns for the chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR has decided to take a step towards action.
On Sunday just a while after the checkered flag at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR announced that it will be reviewing the “per protocol” and will not comment until the review is complete.
Following the finish in what was the last race in the regular season, some of the final moments in the race came into question, also leading many on social media to question the spin by Clint Bowyer that brought out the race’s final caution flag. Prior to the caution flag the drivers into the chase seemed just about locked in with Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon, rather than Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.
Newman was on the verge of taking his second win of the year, securing him in the final wild card spot. Gordon was ahead of Logano in the points, and after the restart Logano made up spots. He clinched a top 10 spot, one point over Gordon.
Bowyer’s spin seemed to be just a spin until ESPN released some of the in-car footage and radio audio from the No.15, which later led to questions and conspiracy theories on whether not only Bowyer but the entire Michael Waltrip Racing team manipulated the finish, helping Truex make the chase.
On Sunday the Associated Press reported that Truex’s MWR teammate Brian Vickers, had been called to pit-road in the final laps. Vickers had been ahead of Logano but once he pit, it allowed Logano to move up in the race and in the points. With Logano moving up, it would still keep Truex in wild card contention.
The race might be over and the chase picture set, it leaves NASCAR with a very complicated situation. NASCAR may be stuck on what actions it can take but if it doesn’t act upon what just became one of the biggest controversies of the season it won’t end up good on their part. If the finish was manipulated, NASCAR needs to lay a punishment for what occurred, they did punish in the past for a similar situation so why not now.
If NASCAR wants to keep its credibility heading into its final 10 championship cases it needs to take control of the situation and keep it fair and square just like they told the drivers prior to the race.