Strange Finish Ends Fractured NASCAR Cup Race At Kansas

Charlotte, NC – It seemed only fitting that the winning car would cross the finish line in fourth place in Sunday?s Life Lock 400 Kansas Speedway. What better way to end the fractured NASCAR Nextel Cup race that featured two red flag weather delays, multiple wrecks resulting in 12 caution periods, a fatal blow to half of the championship contender’s title hopes, and more bad television coverage?

Greg Biffle coasted under the checkered flag at 7:14 p.m. local time in Kansas to win his first race since the 2006 season finale at Homestead. NASCAR?s decision to end the race because of darkness at that time was absolutely the right call. The race, originally scheduled for 267 laps, was first shortened to 225 circuits and then 210 after the rain delays consumed 2 hours, 58 minutes of daylight earlier in the afternoon.

That was fine by Biffle, who was in the lead at Lap 207 when Juan Pablo Montoya shredded a right front tire and spewed debris all over the back straight. NASCAR decided to forego its one attempt at a green, white checkered-flag finish and pull the plug on the race because of darkness. On the final yellow flag lap, Biffle ran out of gas and slowly coasted to the finish line with his engine silent as Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, and Casey Mears, the second through fourth-place cars rolled by. Both Bowyer and Johnson immediately stated in their post-race interviews that they didn?t think Biffle had won the race.

?When the caution came out on Lap 207 the field was frozen,? explained NASCAR?s Ramsey Poston later. ?At the time of the caution, the No.16 (Biffle) was in the lead and maintained a reasonable speed and was declared the race winner. There is no passing under caution. By rule, cars under caution need to maintain a reasonable speed, which the No. 16 did. If it hadn?t maintained a reasonable speed or the car had come to a stop, then that car would not have won the race. In this instance the No. 16 maintained a reasonable speed, crossed the finish and won the race.?

Sorry, but it seems like the winner’s vehicle – running or not – should be able to at least keep up to the pace car, which was running a ‘reasonable speed’ of 55 miles per hour Sunday.

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