NASCAR race director Richard Buck has denied that officials prevented Kurt Busch from winning Sunday’s Auto Club 400.
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Busch held a big lead over his rivals before a controversial caution squeezed the field back together, allowing both Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick to pass him during a two-lap sprint finish under green-white-checkered flag conditions.
Buck defended the decision, saying officials called for a yellow flag due to a piece of metal lying on the track at turns three and four.
“Safety’s No. 1,” Buck is quoted as saying by ESPN.
“If there’s any question whatsoever, we’ll throw the caution. We want to identify it first, obviously, because there was a lot of paper trash and plastic bags flying around today. But we got definite confirmation on it that it was debris. It looked like a piece of metal.”
Buck went as far as to say NASCAR officials didn’t have any “favourites” and that the decision was solely down to safety.
“We don’t have any favorites,” Buck said.
“We try to keep every emotion out of it. We work very closely in a very dynamic way to identify the situation and look for the solution to it, then that solution is backed up by multiple layers.”