Debris or not debris? At Texas, it continued to be the latter

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Texas Motor Speedway often has been the apex for debris cautions in the Sprint Cup Series – which made Saturday’s Duck Commander 500 somewhat of an anomaly.

Or, from another perspective, it was right in sync with the rhythm of races in NASCAR’s premier series this season.

The yellow flag flew only twice for debris in the 500-mile race – on Lap 136 and 296 of 334 – tying the fewest number of debris cautions at the 1.5-mile oval over the past six years. The April 19, 2010 race was the last at Texas that didn’t include a debris yellow.

In the 12 Cup races since then at Texas, there had been average of three debris cautions per race, including a high of seven in the Nov. 2, 2014 race. There were four in the Nov. 8, 2015 race.

Debris yellows often are a judgment call for NASCAR officials, who admittedly can’t always determine the size, shape and significance of the debris until track workers are dispatched to collect it under caution.

The Texas race kept in line with a trend of declining debris cautions this season.

Through seven races, there have been eight debris yellows, with a high of two at Texas and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Martinsville Speedway had none over 500 laps).

Through the first seven races in 2015, there were 21 debris yellows – with a high of five at Auto Club Speedway.

Debris yellows at Texas over the past six years:

April 2010 – 0

November 2010 – 2

April 2011 – 2

November 2011 – 2

April 2012 – 2

November 2012 – 5

April 2013 – 3

November 2013 – 2

April 2014 – 2

November 2014 – 7

April 2015 – 3

November 2015 — 4

April 2016 — 2

Debris yellows over the past two seasons through the first seven races:

Race                 2016       2015

Daytona                 1               1

Atlanta                   1               4

Vegas                    2              2

Phoenix                  1               3

Fontana                  1               5

Martinsville             0              3

Texas                     2               3

Total                       8             21