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Devil’s Advocate: Did NASCAR Make the Right Call to End Atlanta When They Did?

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Joshua Lipowski

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NASCAR decided to call Sunday night’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway after 185 laps of racing and seven laps under the caution flag, the race was called. Many questioned whether or not NASCAR should have gone back green for the race to restart, even if only for a few laps. Others felt it was the right call, but, why?

Side 1: NASCAR Called it Right

Rain is dangerous, especially on a drafting-style race track when the drivers are incredibly aggressive. A poorly timed rain shower is an immense safety hazard to drivers. Look no further than the end of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona last August.

Does anyone want a repeat of that incident again? Especially at a track where someone can win the race and throw the entire Playoff grid for a loop. It’s definitely something that would leave a bad taste in the mouth of the drivers and the fans.

Yes, NASCAR could maybe race in a light rain shower, but should they really race in those conditions? It’s dangerous at the end of the day. Remember that people could get seriously hurt in an accident, and, if it was caused by weather, people will rightfully scrutinize whether or not NASCAR unjustly put their drivers’ safety in jeopardy.

The drivers’ safety has to be the first thing to consider under every circumstance. There was no real need to run that race further than it ran. They still got 185 laps in on Sunday night, which, yes, is not the full 260 lap distance, but it’s still a good chunk.

NASCAR made the best decision for the safety of the competitors. There’s an argument to be made that NASCAR got luck that the caution was thrown when it was for the incident in turn-three. If not, then maybe Daytona 2022 would have happened again.

Side 2: NASCAR Called it Wrong

It was raining, but barely. A light sprinkle is really not that much, and NASCAR could have elected to go back green if-only briefly before it got heavy. The rain did not intensify too much until well-after the cars went down pit road.

NASCAR could have easily run a few more laps under the green flag until the rain intensified. NASCAR’s job is to run the race to its full, advertised distance, or as close as they can do it if something like rain gets in the way. They did not do that, and they instead just puttered around under caution just waiting for the rain to come.

The race could have been longer, and it could have gone more laps, but NASCAR simply decided not to do that. Sure, the incident at Daytona happened last year, but that was a totally different scenario. That was a pop-up shower that came out of complete nowhere.

Now that NASCAR has officials stationed outside of the race track to see how the weather is, NASCAR could have elected to stop the race as soon as those officials felt it, and the rest of the field could have been okay racing in a light sprinkle. The race track was not even wet when the cars pulled into pit road.

Remember last week when we were stuck waiting out a lightning delay and the Xfinity race was postponed despite barely a drop of rain? Why would NASCAR want to repeat that scenario of not racing as far as they could have raced.

How unfair is it to other competitors that the race was not run as far as it could have been run? In the spirit of fairness of competition, they should have allowed that race to be run as far as it could have. Unfortunately, it was not.

In the Stands

carnation gives his thoughts as to why NASCAR decided to not go back to green.

nascarismk says that 15 minutes under yellows was just too long.

Robert Garcis says that NASCAR could have restarted the race at some point.

HN9 says that carnation was right.

LeftTurnsFan says that NASCAR could have started the race earlier, but they did not.

Donivan Warren says that NASCAR made the right decision.

NASCAR had a tough call to make on Sunday night. Do you feel that NASCAR made the right call in electing to stop the race when they did?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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