More yesterday at Charlotte’s roval, as race leader Chase Elliot #9 wrecks himself on the restart. This after he had just won the second stage with clearly the fastest car in the field. This was a cut-down race (16 to 12), and Elliot’s stage win secured his place in the Round-of-12. Best drivers in the world, my ass…
I saw this live on NBC, and the analysts pointed out that Brad Keselowski & Kyle Larson (good drivers by NASCAR standards) did the same thing last year. Here it is…
This keeps happening because the restart takes a different route from than the one they race. That’s NASCAR stupidity on two fronts: 1) the restart at an unfamiliar speed & direction, and 2) drivers not learning from previous mistakes.
If you are a race fan, do you see these types of bonehead errors with such frequency in Indycar or F1?
Final NASCAR manipulation note: When Chase Elliot locked his brakes & skidded off the track into the Tums safer barrier, he was clear of the track with his car only suffering minor front-end damage. In real racing it would have been kept under green flag, and Chase Elliot would have to wait until everyone behind him cleared. Only then could he back out and return to the track.
But instead, NASCAR immediately threw the yellow flag, because Chase Elliot is an old-timer favorite & has solid sponsorship. Therefore, he gets the benefit of freezing the field, only dropping to 20th or so, while also getting a chance to go into the pits under yellow and get repairs.
This occurred at the start of stage 3, and Elliot came back to win the race– with this help from his friends. Here’s one title of an ESPN.com write-up of Charlotte: “NASCAR StatWatch: Just 24, Chase Elliott becoming master of road courses.” Unintentionally funny stuff. You can manipulate a race by when you throw a yellow flag, and this was a classic NASCAR example.