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DATE News (chronologically)
02/21/11
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Ragan surprised, Jack Roush miffed over late-race penalty
David Ragan couldn’t believe the call by NASCAR that dropped him from the lead to the rear of the field prior to the final restart in the Daytona 500. Ragan was penalized for not staying in his lane on the lap-203 restart and violating a rule that NASCAR emphasized during the prerace drivers meeting (but has not often called during a race).

Leading on the restart, the Roush Fenway Racing driver was ruled to have come down from the outside lane to the inside before getting to the start/finish line.

“I guess I broke that plane from outside to inside earlier than what they wanted,” Ragan said. “I felt like once we could get to the start/finish line, I could do whatever. But I didn’t think I moved down the whole way at the line. I haven’t seen a replay and I’ll have to have it explained to me.”

Team owner Jack Roush was livid over the ruling.

“I didn’t like the way the race ended,” Roush said. “I certainly didn’t like what they did to David Ragan. … I’ve never seen that rule exercised before. I’ve got to look at the video and understand exactly what he did.

“From where I was sitting, and of course with my prejudiced position, I didn’t see that he did anything wrong. The question is whether they would have made that call for one of the established guys.”

NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said it was an easy call to make because it was a clear violation of the rule.

“You’re supposed to maintain the lane,” Pemberton said. “He was down in front of the other car long before the start/finish line. That’s all there is to it. We’ve warned guys, especially in the drivers meeting.

“It wasn’t a hard call to make as much as we hated to make it.” Scenedaily.com

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