The pass occurred on the backstretch with 33 laps to go in the race.
Stenhouse was below Busch — but above the yellow line — when Busch came down the track, causing Stenhouse to go beneath the line. When Stenhouse returned above the line, he was ahead of Busch.
Stenhouse, who won two restrictor-plate races last year, had to serve a pass-through penalty in the pits as result. He finished the 75-lap race in 16th, two laps down.
In a video played in the pre-race driver-crew chief meeting, it states that if a driver goes down below the yellow line to advance their position, they will be penalized. If a competitor forces another competitor below the yellow line they may be penalized.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will serve as an analyst for NBC’s NASCAR coverage this year, addressed the issue after the race.
Earnhardt exchanged tweets on the rule with Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer.
The exchange ended with Earnhardt declaring that the rule needs to be eliminated.
Stenhouse then added his two cents, which Fox Sports analyst Jeff Gordon responded to.
Earnhardt himself was involved in a similar scenario in 2003 at Talladega Superspeedway.
With five laps to go in the spring race, Earnhardt made a move to surge by Matt Kenseth for the lead. As he began to pull even, Kenseth moved down toward Earnhardt, which caused him to escape below the yellow line.
Earnhardt returned to the racing surface in the lead. After the white flag waved, NASCAR ruled Earnhardt’s pass legal.