Jimmie Johnson called for major changes to the way NASCAR officiates races on Wednesday, four days after two high-profile incidents at Richmond International Raceway continued to be the talk of NASCAR. Johnson proposed halting a race with a red-flag to review any questionable circumstances, similar to an NFL-style replay timeout.
"In my opinion, if there is a question they don't know, they need to stop the race immediately," Johnson said during a promotional event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Red flag, pits are closed, figure it out and make the best judgment they can. Because trying to go back on Monday or Tuesday to fix the situation is just too much, and then I learn something about a ripple effect."
NASCAR announced the largest penalties in its history late Monday night after reviewing actions taken by the Michael Waltrip Racing team to manipulate the outcome of NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup field. Initially, NASCAR said it saw nothing wrong with what MWR did - which included having Brian Vickers make a late-race pit stop to give up a position in the race, which helped teammate Martin Truex Jr. make the Chase. NASCAR later removed Truex from the Chase with its penalty. Stopping the race for an incident like Clint Bowyer's suspicious spin -- he said after the race and in his first public comments Tuesday since the penalties that he did not spin on purpose -- would have been hard for some people to swallow, but also "the lesser of the evils," Johnson said. USA Today
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