Late Caution Leads To Three-car Crash At Vegas

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  1. DownForce

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    LAS VEGAS -- A one-car incident turned into a hard three-car crash and red flag when NASCAR didn't throw the caution on the initial incident Saturday during the Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

    No one was injured in the accident, which started when Cody Ware spun exiting Turn 2 and smacked the outside wall, coming to rest near the high groove. As Darrell Wallace Jr.'s car approached Ware -- with the race still under green -- his spotter told him to lift, and Wallace spun, collecting Justin Marks and smashing into Ware.

    All three drivers walked away from their damaged cars.

    "I was surprised because I thought me getting in the wall and backing it in would cause a caution," Ware said. "But it is part of it. It is what it is. ... I had my belts on the whole time. I didn't take anything off until the safety crew got to me."

    After the initial Ware hit, Kyle Busch's spotter told Busch that there was a car wrecked in Turn 2 but NASCAR had not thrown the caution, possibly not seeing the accident. NASCAR's spotter in Turn 2 eventually called to race control to report the accident, which is the typical procedure once it becomes clear race control did not see the accident, and race control then called for the caution.

    "I don't know why Tony you saw that and the yellow was so long [to come out], but that's uncalled for, tower," Kyle Busch told spotter Tony Hirschmann on his in-car radio after the crash.

    With driver spotters often concentrating on their own cars, they might not know of an accident until alerted by NASCAR on the radio, which all spotters monitor. Wallace was racing at the time with Aric Almirola, who barely made it between Ware and the outside wall.

    "NASCAR didn't say [caution] until way, way late," said Almirola, who competes full time in the Sprint Cup Series. "I was already in a bad, bad situation once I knew the caution was coming out.

    "I hope they get a handle on that. I don't know if they need more officials to watch for that stuff or what, but it was very, very scary. I could have hit him in the driver's side door running 170 miles an hour."

    A NASCAR spokesman said there are no planned changes for the Sprint Cup Series race Sunday as far as adding additional officials in the area, adding that "nothing has changed to our sight lines" at the track.

    Wallace said he never saw Ware because the G-forces push him down in the seat and he was battling Almirola for position.

    "I can't blame anybody but just circumstances," Wallace said. "I'll back my spotter up 100 percent. ... By the time [I knew Ware was there], it was too late. [My spotter] said, 'Check up, check up, check up,' and the first initial pull off the gas, it jumped out."

    Marks said he couldn't believe how Almirola got through there, and Almirola acknowledge that he wasn't sure as well.

    "I saw a tiny little open space between the back of his car and the outside wall, and I just aimed for that," Almirola said. "I was willing to hit the outside wall as long as I didn't hit him in the driver's door. He probably would have been in the hospital if I did."

    Source - ESPN
     
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