NASCAR says no problem with Texas restarts

NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton broke almost a year-long vow not to listen to talk radio on Monday morning. "In three minutes, I was done," Pemberton said with a laugh. That's because fans were outraged that #48-Jimmie Johnson, #2-Brad Keselowski or both jumped a restart, meaning they left early to gain an advantage, and weren't penalized in the closing laps of Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. Pemberton said for a driver to be penalized it has to be an obvious violation as it was earlier this year in the Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis with Elliott Sadler. He said that wasn't the case in either situation on Sunday involving the two drivers battling for the championship.

According to NASCAR rules, the second-place car can't beat the first-place car to the start-finish line on restarts. Johnson, according to television replays, beat Keselowski to the line on the final restart by anywhere from a few inches to a foot. Pemberton said when it's that close NASCAR is reluctant to make a call because you don't know whether the leader manipulated that or not. "When you went to double-file restarts this is what you had,'' he said. "You can't govern the restarts to the transponder, because then you're into regulating someone getting to the line and rolling out of the gas and getting the guy on the outside black-flagged. If anybody thinks those games don't happen, then it's obvious they're not paying attention." ESPN

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