Edwards and Kenseth question lack of caution at end of race
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth were both frustrated with the end of the Sprint Cup race Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, where NASCAR's decision not to throw a caution allowed drivers to speed past Edwards' spinning car.
Edwards was spun heading into the first turn of the last lap and his Toyota slid twice toward the grass and twice back onto the track. NASCAR didn't call a caution, which Edwards said allowed other drivers to pass him at high speeds as his car was out of control.
''The biggest cause of injury is going to be one of us not checking up when there's a guy sideways,'' Edwards said. ''I've got my door facing the field, and (Justin Allgaier) car goes by at about 160, 180 mph. That's not the way I try to race these guys when there's a wreck. That's very frustrating.
Kenseth said he did get out of the gas, because if he didn't, he'd have hit his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and likely injured him.
''I had to lift so I didn't send Carl to the hospital,'' Kenseth said. ''I'm just dumbfounded that NASCAR didn't throw a caution. We were driving past wrecked cars for half a lap at 180 mph.''
Richard Buck, managing director of the Sprint Cup Series, said NASCAR makes every attempt to allow a race to finish under green and the last-lap incident Sunday didn't warrant a yellow.
''We believe the circumstances that occurred allowed us to,'' finish under green, Buck said.
The season-opening Daytona 500 ended under caution, which most fans find to be an unsatisfying finish. But the wreck on the last lap at Daytona involved multiple cars and NASCAR has said it had to throw the yellow that day to quickly dispatch safety personnel to Kyle Larson, whose car had hit a wall.
Edwards said he slowed at Daytona, where he finished 23rd in his debut race with Gibbs, as others continued to race through wreck until the caution froze the field.
''Because there was a wreck at the end of the Daytona 500, and I slowed down, and it cost us a bunch of positions,'' said the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who finished 23rd in the season opener. ''I guess some people would say, `Well, hell, your job is to stay on the throttle and go race, but we're all out there and are human beings. You get a guy wrecking, you can't just lay into his door. That's pretty dangerous.''
Edwards on Sunday apologized for his angry words on his team radio about the situation. But he maintained drivers have to slow down in those situations to avoid injury.
''I mean, I come do all this complaining, and no one ran into me,'' he said. ''Generally, if someone is spinning in front of you, you slow down a little bit, so if you do hit him, you don't break their legs or hurt them. I don't want to rant too much about it, but I was frustrated with that.''