No driver, including 2014 Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, will be (publicly) penalized for his or her actions during the messy and ridiculous final laps of Sunday’s race at Talladega.
NASCAR had previously said Sunday evening that it had found nothing fishy about the green-white-checker attempt at the end of Sunday’s race. Harvick’s car made contact with Trevor Bayne’s, helping trigger a multi-car crash that ended the race. But when saying Sunday that the sanctioning body hadn’t found anything, NASCAR vice chairman Mike Helton couched his words with a “so far.”
The results of the preliminary findings are now official.
“NASCAR has worked to review an extensive amount of material from Sunday’s NASCAR race in Talladega including video, team radio transmissions and downloadable data,” a NASCAR statement said Tuesday morning. “Based on that review, the race results are considered official as we prepare for the upcoming 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Eliminator Round starting Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.”
Harvick, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. are the eight drivers advancing to the next round of the Chase. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth were eliminated at Talladega.
NASCAR’s statement continued.
“Additionally, aside from today’s post-race inspection, NASCAR has completed review of any other potential penalties from the track this past weekend, and there will be no further actions.”
Harvick was accused by multiple drivers of causing the crash on purpose. His car was experiencing engine difficulties and could not accelerate to race pace. As he moved to the outside on the restart, Bayne passed him to his outside. The two made contact.
While Harvick has gotten a lot of scrutiny for his actions, it’s also fair to wonder why NASCAR didn’t black flag him before he made contact with Bayne. On the previous “attempt” to restart the race for a final time, it was incredibly clear that Harvick’s car could not accelerate with the rest of the field. As drivers hit the throttle, Harvick’s car dropped towards the back of the pack.
However, since Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Larson went spinning before the field took the green flag, the field was frozen and Harvick was returned by NASCAR to his original position on the restart.
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