NASCAR may become less lenient on drivers who spin with a flat tire after an incident in last weekend’s Camping World Truck Series race, a series official told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday.
Kyle Busch‘s truck had a tire go down in last week’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He moved the truck down to the apron of the track and it spun there, creating a caution. Busch declined to explain after the race what happened in the spin.
NASCAR did not penalize Busch for the spin during the race.
Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive” on Tuesday that series officials will discuss Busch’s spin.
“Those are tough calls,” Miller said. “That obviously came up again this weekend. It’s hard for us to know what is going on inside the car. We have our (Tuesday) competition meeting, and I’m sure there will be discussions on the particular one that prompted that question. We’ll kind of review it.
“What we can’t let, and what we will probably be more inclined to do moving forward, is having a flat tire and trying to get back to pit road is not an excuse to spin out. If we have to crack down a little bit harder on those things happening so that doesn’t become a trend, we will certainly react to that.”
— Bagman (@TheMikeBagley) March 8, 2021
Busch said in Nov. 2019 that NASCAR needs to be careful in penalizing drivers for spinning with a flat tire to draw a caution.
“When people have flat tires and are spinning out and drawing cautions, you can’t penalize one and then not everybody else,” Busch said. “So they better be careful.”
NASCAR typically gives drivers the benefit of the doubt in such situations. Series officials fined Bubba Wallace $50,000 and docked him 50 points in Nov. 2019 after he admitted to NBC Sports that he intentionally spun at Texas to get a caution after suffering a flat tire.
Asked at the time if he was worried about any repercussions about admitting he had spun, Wallace said: “Until they do anything, no. I’m not the only one to do it.”
NASCAR penalized Wallace for the spin six days after the incident because he publicly admitted it.
“There can be a lot of accusations, but to be completely positive, that’s what happened only happened when he raised his hand and said ‘I did it,’ “ Miller said in Nov. 2019.
Wallace’s spin and the ensuring caution adversely affected Kyle Larson in that Nov. 2019 Texas race. Larson also said the tactic was one used by drivers before.
“(Intentionally causing a caution) affects the race,” Larson said in Nov. 2019. “It saves them, but it could hurt guys. Sometimes you end up on the right side of it and whatnot, but last week we didn’t, so that’s obviously why I was upset. We’ve all done it. I’ve done it. I got penalized a lap and still was able to recover and win (2016 Eldora Truck race). We’ve all done it. It can affect the race.”
Penalties after a race for spinning during it are rare.
NASCAR fined Dale Earnhardt Jr. $10,000 and docked him 25 points after intentionally spinning during a March 2004 race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Earnhardt admitted on the radio with his team and to the media after the race that he intentionally spun to bring out a caution.
Kyle Busch wouldn’t explain what happened on his spin so whether he spun to bring out the caution is left open to interpretation. What he said (or didn’t say): pic.twitter.com/E88caYiiwn
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) March 6, 2021
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) March 9, 2021