NASCAR exec admits ‘bit of a delay’ in throwing XFINITY Series caution flag at Vegas

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer, admits that NASCAR officials probably should have thrown the caution flag sooner when Cody Ware wrecked with 63 laps left in Saturday’s XFINITY Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Ware, who hit the wall in Turn 2, was clobbered by the oncoming car of Darrell Wallace Jr., who had nowhere to go in his Roush Fenway Racing Ford.

But by the time Wallace’s car approached Ware’s car, which was sliding gingerly down the banking, three other cars had already passed by Ware’s slowly moving No. 25 — ample time for officials to throw the caution flag before Wallace and Ware collided.

Speaking this week on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, O’Donnell was asked if the caution flag wasn’t displayed as quickly as officials ideally would have wanted it displayed.

"I think that is probably fair,” O’Donnell said on SiriusXM. "That’s something we’ll talk about as a group at the R&D Center on Tuesday. When we kind of noticed (Ware’s) car, it was probably already mid-accident by the time we saw it, spinning out. In that case, I think there was a bit of a delay in throwing the caution."

Above all, NASCAR wants to do what’s in the best interest of safety, O’Donnell insisted.

"We always want to make sure safety first. If we see something, we’re going to throw it," he said. "In that instance, I think it’s fair for the drivers to say, and we’ve talked to them, that we’d like to have that one maybe to do over again in terms of how quickly we could have gotten the caution flag out.”