While there are no Joey Logano fans in our family, I’ve got to admit, NASCAR did the right thing, freezing the field at the 2015 running of the Daytona 500. While as fans, we all want to see a great race to the finish, safety’s a bigger concern. What’s more perplexing is that some of the same people crying foul at Daytona not having SAFER barriers everywhere are some of the same people complaining about the final caution in the final lap of the Daytona 500 — safety first.
NASCAR officials felt that the backstretch crash that occurred on the final lap of yesterday’s Daytona 500 had enough hard hits with the wall that they had to throw the caution as race leader in the No. 22 Ford, Joey Logano entered Turn 3 for the final time.
It ended up freezing the field’s final finish positions and made for a less than exciting final lap and finish, but NASCAR said it was crucial for safety reasons.
NASCAR’s rules are set that once the the white flag has flown, the race will not be restarted if a caution flag is flown.
While as a fan, I’d love to have seen Harvick and others contend through the tri-oval for the Daytona 500 win, I get it. The afternoon before, Kyle Busch had already been injured in the Xfinity race when his car slid through the grass and made hard contact with a concrete wall. Participants and fans alike were rightfully upset that Daytona, amid a renovation project hadn’t retrofitted all its walls with SAFER barriers.
Yet some of the same people complained when the caution nullified the Daytona 500 race ending. Everyone, including NASCAR wants to see the race finish under green, but we’ve got to have safety first and foremost.
There have been many times when NASCAR calls a caution and it leaves fans and competitors scratching their heads over the cause. Earlier in the race, No. 15 spotter Brett Griffin and driver Clint Bowyer had a discussion about how NASCAR officials were furiously searching for debris in any corner as race leaders started bearing down on putting Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards a lap down. Teams all are leery of the caution flags and often question their validity. On the flip side, teams who are struggling or in need of a pit stop often erroneously campaign for cautions as well. It’s part of the game they all play.
Regardless, NASCAR made the right call for the safety of the Sprint Cup participants yesterday. Congratulation to Joey Logano on his Daytona 500 win. We all wish though had safety allowed, that the race checkered flag would have come under a green flag.