NASCAR’s reason for not throwing yellow flag on last lap at Talladega

On the final lap [of a race], NASCAR's stance is to 'let 'em play". When NASCAR Senior Vice President Steve O'Donnell joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio he acknowledged that while Sunday's decision in the Geico 500 [at Talladega Superspeedway] was indeed "a judgment call," fans prefer to see races end under green flag conditions.

"It's going to be a judgment call," O'Donnell said. "We've stated that we're going to make every effort to try and finish a race under green conditions – that's what the fans want to see. But we have to be obviously mindful of what's occurring on the track. It's a split-second decision. I think if you go back to Daytona, where we saw a driver hit the wall at what we thought to be fairly hard and wanted to dispatch our emergency crews quickly, we elected to throw the caution. If you look at yesterday, if you saw the circumstances that played out with Carl [Edwards], when we initially saw him get loose, he was down on the apron. As we made that quick decision, it was 'ok, he's clear we can go'.

"Just as we make that, his car slides up the track and that's something you don't want to see green or yellow flag conditions. But at the time, if we would have thrown the yellow, then it's already too late because he's already up and across the track. We elected to let it play out. We certainly didn't like to see how Carl come across the track but ultimately, we were able to come back under green flag conditions."

O'Donnell plans to discuss Talladega with the drivers. He also realizes that some fans might feel that NASCAR was late to make a call due to who might or might not be leading a race at the time. However, he reiterated that the sanctioning body reacts no differently than an umpire calling balls and strikes in baseball. Motorsport

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