Sunday’s Bank of America 500 not only finished with Joey Logano in victory lane but questions about if NASCAR cleaned the track properly of oil. Earnhardt and Busch both blamed oil for hitting the wall and playing a role in their poor finishes.
“You now can’t pass anybody – single-lane race track and then you put oil on the top lane to try to make anything happen and then you put yourself in the fence, so thanks to NASCAR for cleaning that up,’’ Kyle Busch said after finishing 20th.
Busch’s crew chief, Adam Stevens, said that Busch hitting the wall with about 120 laps left, is “what really did us in.’’
Earnhardt’s problems came earlier.
NASCAR called a caution on Lap 183 for oil from Justin Allgaier’s car. Six laps after the race resumed – and after Earnhardt hit the wall – NASCAR called another caution for oil on the track.
“We all hit the wall,’’ Earnhardt said after finishing 28th. “I hit the wall, (Brad Keselowski) hit the wall. Then we went another lap and I pitted and a bunch of other guys hit the wall. There was oil down there. It wasn’t Speedi Dri. I’ve raced this (stuff) for 20 years. I know what oil and Speedi Dri is. We hit fluid and flew into the freaking wall hard. That’s not Speedi Dri. It was oil up there.
“There were some shadows cast by them billboards across the track and that may have made it difficult for them to see. (Allgaier) blew a hose. He didn’t knock a hole in the bottom of the engine that would just leave a track of oil. He blew a hose or something that is going to spray oil and throw oil all about the race track and up the race track. Maybe it was two-and-a-half car lengths wide how much oil was on the track. You can put (Speedi Dri) where the car went. You got to get out there maybe and feel around, get your hands on the track.’’
Richard Buck, managing director for the Sprint Cup series, said that’s what was done.
“We looked everywhere, including putting people on the ground and walking the area where they said the oil was and there was no oil,’’ Buck said.
“I don’t know that you say that anybody misread anything. We all did our jobs. We actually had a human being, protected by the trucks, walking that area to make sure. We do everything we can to bring the surface back to a raceable condition. I think we’ve got an excellent record with that.
“Sometimes with these lubricants and things that they use, there is some staining to the track, and we’ll go back and do a double-check on that … to make sure that we have got all the fluids. We did that today and we feel absolutely confident that there was no oil on that very top groove or down below or anywhere else.’’